Metabolic Trade-Offs Promote Diversity in a Model Ecosystem.

TitleMetabolic Trade-Offs Promote Diversity in a Model Ecosystem.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPosfai, A, Taillefumier, T, Wingreen, NS
JournalPhys Rev Lett
Date Published2017 01 13

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 notable features of natural ecosystems, including keystone species and population dynamics and abundances characteristic of neutral theory, despite an underlying non-neutral competition for resources.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. Lett.
PubMed ID28128613