Cartoon the Classics: Hutchinson (1965) and Pimentel (1961)

“The Ecological Theater and the Evolutionary Play” (G.E. Hutchinson, 1965)

Hutchinson cartoon

Hutchinson (1965) describes ecology as the backdrop against which evolutionary processes play out. In this analogy, ecology can affect evolution, much like the setting of a play can influence the audience’s perception.  However, evolution (the “play”) as no affect on ecology (the “theater”).

“Animal Population Regulation by the Genetic Feed-back Mechanism” (D. Pimentel 1961 Am Nat)

Pimentel cartoon

To stick with this analogy, Pimentel (1961) sees ecology and evolution more as two actors in the same play, interacting dynamically.


*The contrast of these two approaches to evolutionary ecology is laid out wonderfully in Reznick 2013 Am Nat. 

**Cartoons by E. Holdridge.

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