Fluctuating environments and phytoplankton community structure: A stochastic model

John Anderies, Beatrix E. Beisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spatial heterogeneity in organism and resource distributions can generate temporal heterogeneity in resource access for simple organisms like phytoplankton. The role of temporal heterogeneity as a structuring force for simple communities is investigated via models of phytoplankton with contrasting life histories competing for a single fluctuating resource. A stochastic model in which environmental and demographic stochasticity are treated separately is compared with a model with deterministic resource variation to assess the importance of stochasticity. When compared with the deterministic model, the stochastic model allows for coexistence over a wider range of parameter values (or life-history types). The model suggests that demographic stochasticity alone is far more important in increasing the possibility of coexistence than environmental stochasticity alone. However, the combined effects of both types of stochasticity produce the largest likelihood of coexistence. Finally, the influence of relative nutrient levels and nutrient pulse frequency on these results is addressed. We relate our findings to variable environment theory with evidence for both relative nonlinearity and the storage effect acting in this model. We show for the first time that temporal dynamics generated by demographic stochasticity may operate like the storage effect at particular spatial scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-569
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume155
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

stochasticity
community structure
phytoplankton
demographic statistics
coexistence
resource
life history
environmental models
organisms
nutrients
nutrient
nonlinearity
effect

Keywords

  • Competition
  • Diversity
  • Phytoplankton
  • Stochastic model
  • Temporal heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Fluctuating environments and phytoplankton community structure : A stochastic model. / Anderies, John; Beisner, Beatrix E.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 155, No. 4, 2000, p. 556-569.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{912b8bd22edd423fb122a7ccc5c59d21,
title = "Fluctuating environments and phytoplankton community structure: A stochastic model",
abstract = "Spatial heterogeneity in organism and resource distributions can generate temporal heterogeneity in resource access for simple organisms like phytoplankton. The role of temporal heterogeneity as a structuring force for simple communities is investigated via models of phytoplankton with contrasting life histories competing for a single fluctuating resource. A stochastic model in which environmental and demographic stochasticity are treated separately is compared with a model with deterministic resource variation to assess the importance of stochasticity. When compared with the deterministic model, the stochastic model allows for coexistence over a wider range of parameter values (or life-history types). The model suggests that demographic stochasticity alone is far more important in increasing the possibility of coexistence than environmental stochasticity alone. However, the combined effects of both types of stochasticity produce the largest likelihood of coexistence. Finally, the influence of relative nutrient levels and nutrient pulse frequency on these results is addressed. We relate our findings to variable environment theory with evidence for both relative nonlinearity and the storage effect acting in this model. We show for the first time that temporal dynamics generated by demographic stochasticity may operate like the storage effect at particular spatial scales.",
keywords = "Competition, Diversity, Phytoplankton, Stochastic model, Temporal heterogeneity",
author = "John Anderies and Beisner, {Beatrix E.}",
year = "2000",
doi = "10.1086/303336",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "155",
pages = "556--569",
journal = "American Naturalist",
issn = "0003-0147",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fluctuating environments and phytoplankton community structure

T2 - A stochastic model

AU - Anderies, John

AU - Beisner, Beatrix E.

PY - 2000

Y1 - 2000

N2 - Spatial heterogeneity in organism and resource distributions can generate temporal heterogeneity in resource access for simple organisms like phytoplankton. The role of temporal heterogeneity as a structuring force for simple communities is investigated via models of phytoplankton with contrasting life histories competing for a single fluctuating resource. A stochastic model in which environmental and demographic stochasticity are treated separately is compared with a model with deterministic resource variation to assess the importance of stochasticity. When compared with the deterministic model, the stochastic model allows for coexistence over a wider range of parameter values (or life-history types). The model suggests that demographic stochasticity alone is far more important in increasing the possibility of coexistence than environmental stochasticity alone. However, the combined effects of both types of stochasticity produce the largest likelihood of coexistence. Finally, the influence of relative nutrient levels and nutrient pulse frequency on these results is addressed. We relate our findings to variable environment theory with evidence for both relative nonlinearity and the storage effect acting in this model. We show for the first time that temporal dynamics generated by demographic stochasticity may operate like the storage effect at particular spatial scales.

AB - Spatial heterogeneity in organism and resource distributions can generate temporal heterogeneity in resource access for simple organisms like phytoplankton. The role of temporal heterogeneity as a structuring force for simple communities is investigated via models of phytoplankton with contrasting life histories competing for a single fluctuating resource. A stochastic model in which environmental and demographic stochasticity are treated separately is compared with a model with deterministic resource variation to assess the importance of stochasticity. When compared with the deterministic model, the stochastic model allows for coexistence over a wider range of parameter values (or life-history types). The model suggests that demographic stochasticity alone is far more important in increasing the possibility of coexistence than environmental stochasticity alone. However, the combined effects of both types of stochasticity produce the largest likelihood of coexistence. Finally, the influence of relative nutrient levels and nutrient pulse frequency on these results is addressed. We relate our findings to variable environment theory with evidence for both relative nonlinearity and the storage effect acting in this model. We show for the first time that temporal dynamics generated by demographic stochasticity may operate like the storage effect at particular spatial scales.

KW - Competition

KW - Diversity

KW - Phytoplankton

KW - Stochastic model

KW - Temporal heterogeneity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034015004&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034015004&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/303336

DO - 10.1086/303336

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0034015004

VL - 155

SP - 556

EP - 569

JO - American Naturalist

JF - American Naturalist

SN - 0003-0147

IS - 4

ER -