Guilds: the multiple meanings of a concept
Annual Review of Entomology
Guilds, multiple meanings, concept
Root (161) defined a guild as "a group of species that exploit the same class of environmental resources in a similar way." With this intuitively appealing, seductively simple definition, he commenced the development of what has become a Gordian know of ecological thinking. Root saw the term as a way to group "together species without regard to taxonomic position, that overlap significantly in their niche requirements." He also felt that one advantage to the guild concept was that it "focuses attention on all sympatric species involved in a competitive interaction, regardless of their taxonomic relationship" (161, p. 335).
Hawkins, C.P., and J.A. MacMahon. 1989. Guilds: the multiple meanings of a concept. Annual Review of Entomology. 34:423-451.