Merico, Agostino, Brandt, Gunnar, Smith, S. Lan and Oliver, Marcel (2014) Sustaining diversity in trait-based models of phytoplankton communities. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2 . p. 59. DOI https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2014.00059.

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Abstract

It is well-established that when equilibrium is attained for two species competing for the same limiting resource in a stable, uniform environment, one species will eliminate the other due to competitive exclusion. While competitive exclusion is observed in laboratory experiments and ecological models, the phenomenon seems less common in nature, where static equilibrium is prevented by the fluctuating physical environment and by other factors that constantly change species abundances and the nature of competitive interactions. Trait-based models of phytoplankton communities appear to be useful tools for describing the evolution of large assemblages of species with aggregate group properties such as total biomass, mean trait, and trait variance, the latter representing the functional diversity of the community. Such an approach, however, is limited by the tendency of the trait variance to unrealistically decline to zero over time. This tendency to lose diversity, and therefore adaptive capacity, is typically “solved” by fixing the variance or by considering exogenous processes such as immigration. Exogenous processes, however, cannot explain the maintenance of adaptive capacity often observed in the closed environment of chemostat experiments. Here we present a new method to sustain diversity in adaptive trait-based models of phytoplankton communities based on a mechanism of trait diffusion through subsequent generations. Our modeling approach can therefore account for endogenous processes such as rapid evolution or transgenerational trait plasticity.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Theoretical Ecology and Modelling > Systems Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2014.00059
ISSN: 2296-701X
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2019 15:13
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2557

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