Emergent neutrality in consumer-resource dynamics

by Rafael D’Andrea, Theo Gibbs, James P. O’Dwyer

Neutral theory assumes all species and individuals in a community are ecologically equivalent. This controversial hypothesis has been tested across many taxonomic groups and environmental contexts, and successfully predicts species abundance distributions across multiple high-diversity communities. However, it has been critiqued for its failure to predict a broader range of community properties, particularly regarding community dynamics from generational to geological timescales. Moreover, it is unclear whether neutrality can ever be a true description of a community given the ubiquity of interspecific differences, which presumably lead to ecological inequivalences. Here we derive analytical predictions for when and why non-neutral communities of consumers and resources may present neutral-like outcomes, which we verify using numerical simulations. Our results, which span both static and dynamical community properties, demonstrate the limitations of summarizing distributions to detect non-neutrality, and provide a potential explanation for the successes of neutral theory as a description of macroecological pattern.

Make more money selling and advertising your products and services for free on Ominy market. Click here to start selling now

Paper source
Plos Journal

READ MORE  In silico APC/C substrate discovery reveals cell cycle-dependent degradation of UHRF1 and other chromatin regulators

Ominy science editory team

A team of dedicated users that search, fetch and publish research stories for Ominy science.

Enable notifications of new posts    OK No thanks