Joint OGS-QLS Seminar: Diversity begets stability: sublinear growth and competitive coexistence across ecosystems
Starts 22 Nov 2023 10:30
Ends 22 Nov 2023 11:30
Central European Time
Leonardo Building - Luigi Stasi Seminar Room
The dramatic loss of species diversity brings urgency to understanding how diverse ecosystems are naturally stabilized. Whereas conventional wisdom and empirical observation suggest that
stability increases with diversity, ecological theory has long made the opposite prediction, leading
to the longstanding “diversity-stability debate”.
We show this puzzle is resolved through a model where growth scales as a sublinear power law with biomass (exponent < 1), exhibiting a form of population self-regulation analogous to models of individual ontogeny. We show that competitive interactions in a community with sublinear growth do not lead to exclusion, but instead promote stability at higher diversity.
Our model realigns theory with classic observations and predicts large-scale macroecological patterns. However, it makes an unsettling prediction: biodiversity loss may accelerate the destabilization of ecosystems.