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Comparison-Its Scope and Limits

A. D. Bradshaw
The New Phytologist
Vol. 106, No. 1, Frontiers of Comparative Plant Ecology (May, 1987), pp. 3-21
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2433007
Page Count: 19
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Comparison-Its Scope and Limits
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Abstract

At any point in time, any discipline in science tends to be seized by a particular methodology or enthusiasm and other approaches get 'dumped'. So it is in ecology - although, because of obstinate individualism, nothing is ever completely forgotten. We are currently in a reductionist, population-dominated era. Twenty-five years ago, our interests lay primarily in comparisons of species. In between, the holistic approach has had a good run with studies of ecosystems everywhere. This introductory paper reflects on this history and particularly, because of the occasion, examines the value of the process of comparison.

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