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Examining the effects of species richness on community stability: an assembly model approach

Examining the effects of species richness on community stability: an assembly model approach
Examining the effects of species richness on community stability: an assembly model approach
We build dynamic models of community assembly by starting with one species in our model ecosystem and adding colonists. We find that the number of species present first increases, then fluctuates about some level. We ask: how large are these fluctuations and how can we characterize them statistically? As in Robert May's work, communities with weaker interspecific interactions permit a greater number of species to coexist on average. We find that as this average increases, however, the relative variation in the number of species and return times to mean community levels decreases. In addition, the relative frequency of large extinction events to small extinction events decreases as mean community size increases. While the model reproduces several of May's results, it also provides theoretical support for Charles Elton's idea that diverse communities such as those found in the tropics should be less variable than depauperate communities such as those found in arctic or agricultural settings.
0030-1299
363-367
Wilmers, Christopher C.
539dd2d6-8c31-4e43-bb95-4a6b8e0dfecf
Sinha, Sitabhra
b07422fc-630c-4af8-9b51-6a2a630d020d
Brede, Markus
bbd03865-8e0b-4372-b9d7-cd549631f3f7
Wilmers, Christopher C.
539dd2d6-8c31-4e43-bb95-4a6b8e0dfecf
Sinha, Sitabhra
b07422fc-630c-4af8-9b51-6a2a630d020d
Brede, Markus
bbd03865-8e0b-4372-b9d7-cd549631f3f7

Wilmers, Christopher C., Sinha, Sitabhra and Brede, Markus (2002) Examining the effects of species richness on community stability: an assembly model approach. Oikos, 99 (2), 363-367. (doi:10.1034/j.1600-0706.2002.990218.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We build dynamic models of community assembly by starting with one species in our model ecosystem and adding colonists. We find that the number of species present first increases, then fluctuates about some level. We ask: how large are these fluctuations and how can we characterize them statistically? As in Robert May's work, communities with weaker interspecific interactions permit a greater number of species to coexist on average. We find that as this average increases, however, the relative variation in the number of species and return times to mean community levels decreases. In addition, the relative frequency of large extinction events to small extinction events decreases as mean community size increases. While the model reproduces several of May's results, it also provides theoretical support for Charles Elton's idea that diverse communities such as those found in the tropics should be less variable than depauperate communities such as those found in arctic or agricultural settings.

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Published date: 2002
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 272894
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/272894
ISSN: 0030-1299
PURE UUID: 376333e1-45bc-432d-b712-993770358a1b

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Date deposited: 29 Sep 2011 16:35
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 22:12

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Contributors

Author: Christopher C. Wilmers
Author: Sitabhra Sinha
Author: Markus Brede

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