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Tail of death and resurrection

Estimating the proportion of rare species in particular habitats is a big issue for ecologists. Hence the intensity of debate over whether 'neutral theory' has predictive value for species abundances.

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Figure 1: Ecological test site: Barro Colorado Island, Panama, on which a 50-hectare Forest Dynamics Plot is maintained by the Center for Tropical Forest Science of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.


Figure 2: Matching theory to data.


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Correspondence to John Harte.

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Harte, J. Tail of death and resurrection. Nature 424, 1006–1007 (2003).

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