Stochastic competitive exclusion leads to a cascade of species extinctions

Capitán Gómez, José Ángel and Cuenda, Sara and Alonso, David (2017). Stochastic competitive exclusion leads to a cascade of species extinctions. "Journal of Theoretical Biology" (n. 419); pp. 137-151. ISSN 0022-5193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.02.007.

Description

Title: Stochastic competitive exclusion leads to a cascade of species extinctions
Author/s:
  • Capitán Gómez, José Ángel
  • Cuenda, Sara
  • Alonso, David
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Date: February 2017
ISSN: 0022-5193
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: Competitive exclusión, Ecological drift, Continuous-time Markov processes
Faculty: E.T.S. de Edificación (UPM)
Department: Matemática Aplicada
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

Community ecology has traditionally relied on the competitive exclusion principle, a piece of common wisdom in conceptual frameworks developed to describe species assemblages. Key concepts in community ecology, such as limiting similarity and niche partitioning, are based on competitive exclusion. However, this classical paradigm in ecology relies on implications derived from simple, deterministic models. Here we show how the predictions of a symmetric, deterministic model about the way extinctions proceed can be utterly different from the results derived from the same model when ecological drift (demographic stochasticity) is explicitly considered. Using analytical approximations to the steady-state conditional probabilities for assemblages with two and three species, we demonstrate that stochastic competitive exclusion leads to a cascade of extinctions, whereas the symmetric, deterministic model predicts a multiple collapse of species. To test the robustness of our results, we have studied the effect of environmental stochasticity and relaxed the species symmetry assumption. Our conclusions highlight the crucial role of stochasticity when deriving reliable theoretical predictions for species community assembly.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
Government of SpainCGL2012-39964SITESUnspecifiedUnspecified
Government of SpainCGL2015-69043-PBRIDGESUnspecifiedUnspecified
Government of SpainRYC-2010-06545UnspecifiedUnspecifiedUnspecified

More information

Item ID: 53356
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/53356/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:53356
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.02.007
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022519317300632
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 15 Jan 2019 12:40
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2019 14:35
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