Dyke, J. G., McDonald-Gibson, J., Di Paolo, E. and Harvey, I. R.
Increasing complexity can increase stability in a self-regulating ecosystem.
At Proceedings of IXth European Conference on Artificial Life, ECAL 2007
Springer, Berlin, .
A long standing debate within ecology is to what extent ecosystem complexity and stability are related. Landmark theoretical studies claimed that the more complex an ecosystem, the more unstable it is likely to be. Stability in an ecosystems context can be assessed in different ways. In this paper we measure stability in terms of a model ecosystem’s ability to regulate environmental conditions. We show how increasing biodiversity in this model can result in the regulation of the environment over a wider range of external perturbations. This is achieved via changes to the ecosystem’s resistance and resilience. This result crucially depends on the feedback that the organisms have on their environment.
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