High dynamic dimensionality promotes the persistence of ecological networks in a variable world
2016 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The long-term persistence of ecological communities depends on the strength of destabilizing stochastic forces relative to the strength of stabilizing feedbacks caused by interactions among and within species. What characteristics of a community that tip the balance of these forces in favour of persistence is not clear. Here we show that long-term persistence of a community is positively related to its dynamic dimensionality (DD). A high DD means that the system approaches the equilibrium from all directions at a similar rate. On the other hand, when DD is low the deterministic forces pulling the system towards equilibrium is weak in many directions compared to the stochastic forces pushing the system away from the equilibrium. As a consequence persistence decreases as DD decreases. This result illustrates the potential importance of dynamic dimensionality of ecosystems for their persistence in a variable world and by extension for their vulnerability to changes in the strength and patterns of climate variability caused by global warming.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123967OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-123967DiVA: diva2:894601