Ecological communities. Edited by D.R. Strong Jr. D. Simberloff L.G. Abele and A.B. Thistle. Princeton NJ Princeton University Press. 1984. xiii + 613 pp. figures tables references indices. $60.00 (cloth) $22код для вставкиСкачать
134 BOOK REVIEWS it must be pointed out that it is not universally accepted that there were three contemporary species present in Africa at 2.0 million years. Evidence for the presence of A. apt cunus at this time is not convincing to some researchers. Assignment of such specimens as Petralona, Arago, Swanscombe, and other European fossils to Homo erectus has not found broad acceptance, and many researchers find the evidence for H. erectus in Europe totally lacking. The subject matter in this volume is presented in a manner that should sustain the interest of the student. Organization within each section is well thought out, and the illustrations are well chosen and supportive of the text. I counted only five misspellings, but the use of English spellings, such as “ar- chaeology”, “palaeoanthropology”, and “behaviour,” may be irritating to some readers. In spite of the criticisms, I strongly recommend the use of Lewin’s Human Evolution as a supplementary text in an introductory course on human evolution. Lewin accurately portrays the dynamic attitude of the field of human origins today and in a delightful style renders it easily accessible to the reader. ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES. Edited by D.R. Strong, Jr., D. Simberloff, L.G. Abele, and A.B. Thistle. Princeton, N J Princeton University Press. 1984. xiii + 613 pp., figures, tables, references, indices. $60.00 (cloth), $22.50 (paper). In examining this paradigm, many of the contributors to this volume argue that there is little evidence from either field studies or natural experiments to support a competition model. Evidence presented in papers by Strong, Wise, Seifert, Lawton, Dayton, Simberloff, and Connor and Simberloff on a variety of insect, marine, intertidal, and certain avian communities indicates that factors such as predation, parasites, abiotic perturbation, resource patchiness, and stochastic processes of migration and extinction act to maintain natural populations far below densities that promote interspecific competition. Furthermore, these authors feel that the hypotheses used to test for competition have generally been poorly designed and characterized by inappropriately constructed null models. Wise (p. 42) states: “Tests for competition frequently have been indirect, relying upon inferences from patterns that are consistent with competition theory but that may have alternate explanations.” The construction of proper and unbiased null models to examine processes in community ecology is central to this debate. A null or neutral hypothesis is a model of randomness that takes into account all factors other than the factor whose explanatory value is being tested. If observational data are consistent with the pattern predicted by the null model, then it cannot be rejected, and the posited factor cannot be considered to have a major effect on the system. Constructing such Ecological Communities is the proceedings of a symposium held in 1981 and presents a comprehensive examination and reexamination of fundamental issues regarding ecological interactions and levels of organization in natural communities. The book is divided into six sections (Experimental Tests; Biogeographic Evidence on Communities; Marine Community Paradigms; Morphology, Species Combinations, and Coexistence; Food Web Design; and Community Changes in Time and Space)and includes 28 articles. The common theme that binds these works together is an evaluation of a central paradigm in community ecology: Interspecific competition is a major force in structuring animal and plant communities. This NeoMalthusian approach assumes that the composition and ecological interactions of species in natural systems are driven by density-dependent factors of population pressure and decreases in resource availability. In these systems, coexistence and equilibrium are ultimately achieved through extinctions, displacements, and evolutionary change leading to significant interspecific differences in morphology, behavior, and resource utilization. DONALD C. JOHANSON The Institute of Human Origins Berkeley, California LITERATURE CITED Lovejoy, CO (1981) The origin of man. Science 211:341350. BOOK REVIEWS a model to examine patterns and processes in community ecology, however, is extremely problematic. As Gilpin and Diamond (p. 302) correctly question: “How can one devise a null model that does not implicitly contain effects of competition and that would be rejected as a result of competitive effects in the observed data base but not as a result of other effects?” Colwell and Winkler (p. 3581, in an excellent theoretical paper using computer simulation and specified rules of colonization, extinction, competition, and noncompetitive species interactions, model the development of ecological communities on islands. Their findings reiterate the fact that current null models are unable to distinguish between the influences of competitive and stochastic processes: “The counteracting effects of competitive elimination and correlations between vagility and morphology can produce communities that are with current techniques indistinguishable from random assemblages of the component species” ( p. 3581.” The controversies generated by this volume are likely to continue for some years to come. Unfortunately, this volume contributes little to the field of biological anthropology. Despite the fact that many anthropologists are involved in issues concerned with human and nonhuman primate ecology and ecological 135 models of community organization and competition, only one of the 28 articles deals even peripherally with the ecology of a mammalian community (Brown and Bower’s paper on guild structure in chipmunks of the genus Eutamias). Most of the studies examine insect, marine, and intertidal communities and as such offer little direct insight into the evolutionary processes that have shaped primate communities. For example, articles in this volume examine hispine beetles that live in scrolls formed by young Heliconia leaves (Strong), competition in spider communities (Wise), fly larvae inhabiting Helt conk inflorescences (Seifert), herbivorous insects feeding on bracken (Lawton), and so on. The fundamental weakness of Ecological Communities has nothing to do with either the quality of the articles or the scope of the issues addressed, but rather with the failure of the editors to solicit comparable information on the ecology and structure of mammalian communities. PAUL A. GARBER Department of Anthropology University of Illinois Urbana, Illinois The volume begins and ends with chapters ESSAYSIN HUMANSOCIOBIOLOGY. Edited by Jan Wind. London: Academic Press. 1985. by the editor, Jan Wind. In his introductory Distributed by the European Sociobiologi- chapter Wind characterizes sociobiology, procal Society, PO Box 7161-MF’305, 1007MC vides an overview of the book’s other chapAmsterdam, Netherlands. 164 pp., figures, ters, and gives his own assessment of sociobiology’s potential contribution to the social tables, references. $16.00 (paper). and behavioral sciences. He argues that this The European Sociobiological Society has contribution, while not negligible, is likely over 100 members, representing a wide vari- to be less than has often been supposed, and ety of academic disciplines from 21 countries, this theme is echoed in a number of other including Israel, India, Canada, the United chapters. The final chapter consists of short States, and, of course,the countries of East- reviews of 23 recently published books dealern and Western Europe. The Society’s pri- ing with various aspects of an evolutionary mary objective is to serve as a forum for “the perspective on human affairs, a heroic task study of the role of biological factors in the for which we should be grateful to Dr. Wind. Most of the essays are rather philosophical behaviour of animals and man, with special emphasis on evolutionary aspects.” The pres- and abstract, containing few new data, and ent volume, a slightly adapted reprint of a many are critical of certain trends within special edition of the Journal of Human E v e sociobiology. There are discussions of the lution (13/1, 1984), consists of 15 chapters by similarities and differences between organic and cultural evolution, the nature of altrumembers of the Society.