Assembly and response rules: two goals for predictive community ecology
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): P. A. Keddy
Publication Year: 1992

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • Canada
  • community ecology
  • community ecology
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire regimes
  • fire resistant plants
  • flooding
  • floods
  • genetics
  • island
  • natural selection
  • nongame birds
  • plant communities
  • population density
  • population ecology
  • prediction
  • regeneration
  • reproduction
  • species pool
  • statistical analysis
  • Sweden
  • trait
  • vegetation surveys
  • wetlands
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45864
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21472
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Assembly rules provide one possible unifying framework for community ecology. Given a species pool, and measured traits for each species, the objective is to specify which traits (and therefore which subset of species) will occur in a particular environment. Because the problem primarily involves traits and environments, answers should be generalizable to systems with very different taxonomic composition. In this context, the environment functions like a filter (or sieve) removing all species lacking specified combinations of traits. In this way, assembly rules are a community level analogue of natural selection. Response rules follow a similar process except that they transform a vector of species abundances to a new vector using the same information. Examples already exist from a range of habitats, scales, and kinds of organisms. © IAVS; Opulus Press Uppsala. Printed in Sweden.

Keddy, P. A. 1992. Assembly and response rules: two goals for predictive community ecology. Journal of Vegetation Science, v. 3, p. 157-164.