Is community ecology a thing?

I was talking with a friend about a conversation they had, where someone questioned the fact that “community ecology” was a field/concept/thing. My own opinion of this, as a sometimes self-described community ecologist, is obviously “yes it is”. But let’s entertain the idea that it is not, and justify its existence.

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Is ecology replicable?

There are very few domains of ecology for which we know any general laws. This is particularly true in the “mess” that is community ecology. Even most recent attempts at conceptual unification rarely go beyond the fact that community ecology is driven by selection, drift, speciation, and dispersal. But so does everything else, as far as living organisms are concerned. Not that we should abandon community ecology, but we need to recognize how little we are able to generalize any of the things we know. Can we replicate ecological results?

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