The third party

Clive G. Jones, Ragan M. Callaway

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Spatial and temporal variation in interactions among plants, other species and the abiotic environment create context-dependency in vegetation pattern. We argue that we can enhance understanding of context-dependency by being more explicit about the kinds of direct interactions that occur among more than two living and non-living entities (i. e., third through nth parties) and formalizing how their combinations create context-dependency using simple conceptual models. This general approach can be translated into field studies of context-dependency in communities by combining: progressive sampling of local variation in vegetation pattern that encompasses variation in combinations of direct interactions; spatial and temporal measures of these direct interactions; locally parameterized versions of the conceptual models; and appropriately scaled experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-776
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vegetation Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Abiotic factor
  • Biotic factor
  • Competition
  • Context-dependency
  • Direct interaction
  • Ecosystem engineering
  • Facilitation
  • Indirect effect
  • Species interaction


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