Effects of productivity and disturbance on species richness: a neutral model.

Ronen Kadmon*, Yuval Benjamini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Productivity and disturbance are major determinants of species diversity, and results from theoretical models predict that species richness should peak at intermediate levels of both factors. Such "unimodal" responses have been documented in many field and laboratory studies and have usually been attributed to differences among species in competitive ability and/or trade-offs between competitive ability and tolerance to disturbance. Here we show that most documented patterns of disturbance-richness and productivity-richness relationships, as well as the observed interactions between the two factors, can be explained by a simple neutral model where all species are ecologically identical and lack trade-offs in species characteristics. This finding suggests that current neutral theories can be extended to explain patterns of species responses to productivity and disturbance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)939-946
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


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