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Evolutionary biologists and ecologists explain the way species are
assembled in biological communities quite differently. Studies of
the spiny-legged spider (Tetragnatha spp.) in Hawaii
support the idea that this contention may result from the time
scales on which scientists have worked. The basic ecological and
evolutionary processes that generate diversity and underlie
community assembly are the same: New species enter a community by
colonization or evolution, species accumulate, and the assemblage
approaches equilibrium with particular sets of species. In Hawaii,
geology and biology have interacted to produce a fascinating
diversity of spiders that provide an elegant illustration of these principles.
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