Coupled metapopulation dynamics with patch memory and modification


All organisms alter their abiotic environment, and these modifications impact other members of the biotic community. By shaping, for example, the spatial structure, resource availability, or pathogen prevalence in its local habitat, an individual of one species might enhance or diminish the future success of others. What will be the dynamics and outcomes when these environmentally-mediated interactions play out across a landscape? We introduce a simple yet flexible model to capture the dynamics of ecological communities where the state of a local patch is determined by its last occupant, and the ability of species to colonize a patch is determined by the patch state. Based in the metapopulation framework, our model can be used to describe a wide range of ecological scenarios, from the coexistence of tropical trees to immune-mediated pathogen interactions. We show that this model can exhibit diverse behaviors, including the robust coexistence of many ‘ecosystem engineers’, and demonstrate some general conditions for coexistence to occur.

Feb 16, 2021
UChicago Darwin's Weekly seminar
Chicago, IL