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The Biotic Community

John Phillips
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 19, No. 1 (Feb., 1931), pp. 1-24
DOI: 10.2307/2255934
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2255934
Page Count: 24
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The Biotic Community
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Abstract

1. An attempt is made to outline the views of ecologists regarding the relations of plants and animals in natural communities. These views are considered under the heads: (i) Animals as biotic factors external to the plant community; (ii) Animal communities to which the plants are a portion of the habitat; (iii) Biotic communities--made up of interdependent plant and animal members. 2. Examples of inter-relation and inter-dependence in natural communities are given from the writer's experience in the sub-tropical evergreen forests of the Knysna, South Africa--data being given from experimental and observational sources. In addition, he records the inter-relations of plants and animals in the savannah regions of East Africa, drawing examples from the great game fauna, and from the ecology of the tsetse-fly, Glossina morsitans. 3. It is concluded that the most logical working concept is that of the biotic community. Furthermore it is held that Clements's view of the community being a complex organism, while philosophically perhaps not wholly true, has definite practical value. 4. A very brief outline of methods, and of the applications of the concept, is given.

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