Volume 123, Number 4, August 2018
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||25 September 2018|
Dynamically evolved community size and stability of random Lotka-Volterra ecosystems(a)
Theoretical Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester Manchester M13 9PL, UK
Received: 23 July 2018
Accepted: 5 September 2018
We use generating functionals to derive effective dynamics for Lotka-Volterra systems with random interaction coefficients. From this effective process we study the stability and size of the resulting species communities. The size of the ecosystem is not set from the beginning. Instead, we start from a set of possible species, which may undergo extinction. How many species survive depends on the properties of the interaction matrix; the size of the resulting food web at stationarity is a property of the system itself in our model, and not a control parameter as in most studies based on random matrix theory. We find that prey-predator relations enhance stability, and that variability of species interactions promotes instability. Complexity of inter-species couplings leads to reduced sizes of ecological communities. Dynamically evolved community size and stability are hence positively correlated.
PACS: 87.23.Kg – Dynamics of evolution / 87.23.Cc – Population dynamics and ecological pattern formation
© EPLA, 2018
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