New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1994) 18(2): 169- 176

Identification of Relevant Time-Scales in Nonequilibrium Community Dynamics—Conclusions from Phytoplankton Surveys

Research Article
Judit Padisak  
  1. Balaton Limnological Institute, Hungarian Academy of Science, H-8237 Tihany, Hungary

This paper is a reflection on J.B. Wilson's (1990) publication which presents an attempt to understand the development of terrestrial plant communities of New Zealand against twelve different explanations of Hutchinson's Paradox. I make a rough comparison between terrestrial and planktonic communities; then I briefly review Hutchinson's Paradox and some of the later relevant phytoplankton results. I summarize the relevance of the IDH in phytoplankton dynamics, assessing its strengths and weaknesses; and finally, try to project our conclusions to terrestrial plant communities; this concerns chiefly the need for appropriate spatial and temporal scaling.