Wilmers, Christopher C and Sinha, Sitabhra and Brede, Markus (2002) Examining the effects of species richness on community stability: an assembly model approach. In: Oikos, 99 (2). pp. 363-367.
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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.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Additional Information:||Copyright of this article belongs to John Wiley and Sons.|
|Department/Centre:||Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics|
|Date Deposited:||20 Jul 2011 04:39|
|Last Modified:||20 Jul 2011 04:39|
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