Metabolic trade-offs promote diversity in a model ecosystem


Posfai A, Taillefumier T, Wingreen NS. Metabolic trade-offs promote diversity in a model ecosystem. Physical Review Letter [Internet]. 2016;118 (2).

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In nature a large number of species can coexist on a small number of shared resources, however resource competition models predict that the number of species in steady coexistence cannot exceed the number of resources. Motivated by recent studies of phytoplankton, we introduce trade-offs into a resource competition model, and find that an unlimited number of species can coexist. Our model spontaneously reproduces several features of natural ecosystems including keystone species and population dynamics/abundances characteristic of neutral theory, despite an underlying non- neutral competition for resources.

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Last updated on 02/06/2017