Animated Foundations of Ecology


Ecomotion has been awarded a grant by the Ecology Society of America to create a video series for their centennial conference. The videos each outline a paper that has been essential to the foundations of Ecology. The Animated Foundations of Ecology was premiered at the ESA Conference on August 9, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.





The World is Green

Nelson G. Hairston, Frederick E. Smith, and Lawrence B. Slobodkin (1960)



But why is the world green? The classic "HSS" (that is, Hairston, Smith and Slobodkin) paper addresses this central question of ecology head-on, discussing the factors that limit populations and illustrating a vibrant, elegantly interacting system of plants, herbivores, predators, and decomposers.

Life of Every Color and Kind

Robert T. Paine (1966)




Meet a whole suite of colorful critters, from barnacles to nudibranchs to seastars, and everything that can settle in between. This radical diversity is supported in a most surprising way -- the voracious appetite of a top predator -- as shown by Paine in his fundamental intertidal study.

Huffaker's Balancing Act

C. B. Huffaker (1958)



Predator-prey relationships are theoretically cyclic, but showing this empirically has always been quite the trick. Through a series of increasingly outlandish measures, Huffaker manages to strike the balance of complexity needed for the coexistence of a predator and its mite. You have to see the graphs to believe it.

Mangrove Melody

Daniel S. Simberloff and Edward O. Wilson (1969)



With a smattering of mangrove stands, big and small, near and far, Simberloff puts the hypothesis of island biogeography to the test. In the process, he gets in tune with the forces of colonization and extinction in determining the composition of isolated communities.