chapter  8
Pages 45

Modern ecology had its origin with Darwin (1859), whose environmental perspective on evolutionary change and the mutability of species was developed within a broad geological and geographical context. Darwin knew that species were associated with particular climatic regimes and that they moved, unaltered, into and out of localities as climate changed. Charles Lyell had ensured Darwin knew this through a letter he wrote to him, but it was an issue that Darwin took no further (Bennett 1997, p. 9). Instead, his attention was drawn more strongly to organisms in their “web of complex relations” (Worster 1977, p. 153). Especially influential was the competitive world revealed to him by de Candolle and Malthus (Eiseley 1958, p. 106, Himmelfarb 1959, p. 161, Worster 1977, pp. 149 ff, Paterson 2005). This view held that fecundity had to be brought under control (Worster 1977, p. 153), primarily through competitive feedback, at all localities and at all times. Competitive natural selection was therefore seen to be operating everywhere and all the time, so evolutionary change had to be taking place everywhere and continuously, leading to diversification. That, according to Darwin, ameliorated competition (Worster 1977).