# Unified neutral theory of biodiversity

Theory and the title of a monograph by ecologist Stephen P. Hubbell.

- Unified neutral theory of biodiversity17 related topics

## E. O. Wilson

American biologist, naturalist, and writer.

Among his contributions to ecological theory is the theory of island biogeography (developed in collaboration with the mathematical ecologist Robert MacArthur), which served as the foundation of the field of conservation area design, as well as the unified neutral theory of biodiversity of Stephen P. Hubbell.

## Stephen P. Hubbell

American ecologist on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles.

He is author of the unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography (UNTB), which seeks to explain the diversity and relative abundance of species in ecological communities not by niche differences but by stochastic processes (random walk) among ecologically equivalent species.

## Martingale (probability theory)

Sequence of random variables for which, at a particular time, the conditional expectation of the next value in the sequence is equal to the present value, regardless of all prior values.

In an ecological community (a group of species that are in a particular trophic level, competing for similar resources in a local area), the number of individuals of any particular species of fixed size is a function of (discrete) time, and may be viewed as a sequence of random variables. This sequence is a martingale under the unified neutral theory of biodiversity and biogeography.

## Chinese restaurant process

Discrete-time stochastic process, analogous to seating customers at tables in a Chinese restaurant.

These processes have been used in many applications, including modeling text, clustering biological microarray data, biodiversity modelling, and image reconstruction

## Multifractal system

Generalization of a fractal system in which a single exponent is not enough to describe its dynamics; instead, a continuous spectrum of exponents (the so-called singularity spectrum) is needed.

An equivalent representation of relative species abundances are species ranks, used to generate a surface called the species-rank surface, which can be analyzed using generalized dimensions to detect different ecological mechanisms like the ones observed in the neutral theory of biodiversity, metacommunity dynamics, or niche theory.

## Community (ecology)

Group or association of populations of two or more different species occupying the same geographical area at the same time, also known as a biocoenosis, biotic community, biological community, ecological community, or life assemblage.

Stephen P. Hubbell introduced the neutral theory of ecology.

## Assembly rules

Community assembly rules are a set of controversial rules in ecology, first proposed by Jared Diamond.

and ) and contributed to the development of null and neutral models in community ecology, which are nowadays widely used to test the significance of ecological patterns.

## Metacommunity

Set of interacting communities which are linked by the dispersal of multiple, potentially interacting species.

These are the patch dynamics, species sorting, source–sink dynamics (or mass effect) and neutral model frameworks.

## Blindness in animals

Important role in the animal kingdom, most importantly for the identification of food sources and avoidance of predators.

This is called the unified neutral theory of biodiversity.

## Wild fisheries

Natural body of water with a sizeable free-ranging fish or other aquatic animal population that can be harvested for its commercial value.

For a systematic treatment of biodiversity within a trophic level, see unified neutral theory of biodiversity.