## How Gaussian competition leads to lumpy or uniform species distributions

Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2010

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**How Gaussian competition leads to lumpy or uniform species distributions.** / Pigolotti, Simone; Lopez, Cristóbal; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Andersen, Ken Haste.

Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2010

### Harvard

*Theoretical Ecology*, vol 3, no. 2, pp. 89-96. DOI: 10.1007/s12080-009-0056-2

### APA

*Theoretical Ecology*,

*3*(2), 89-96. DOI: 10.1007/s12080-009-0056-2

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### MLA

*Theoretical Ecology*. 2010, 3(2). 89-96. Available: 10.1007/s12080-009-0056-2

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### RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - How Gaussian competition leads to lumpy or uniform species distributions

AU - Pigolotti,Simone

AU - Lopez,Cristóbal

AU - Hernandez-Garcia,Emilio

AU - Andersen,Ken Haste

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - A central model in theoretical ecology considers the competition of a range of species for a broad spectrum of resources. Recent studies have shown that essentially two different outcomes are possible. Either the species surviving competition are more or less uniformly distributed over the resource spectrum, or their distribution is “lumped” (or “clumped”), consisting of clusters of species with similar resource use that are separated by gaps in resource space. Which of these outcomes will occur crucially depends on the competition kernel, which reflects the shape of the resource utilization pattern of the competing species. Most models considered in the literature assume a Gaussian competition kernel. This is unfortunate, since predictions based on such a Gaussian assumption are not robust. In fact, Gaussian kernels are a border case scenario, and slight deviations from this function can lead to either uniform or lumped species distributions. Here, we illustrate the non-robustness of the Gaussian assumption by simulating different implementations of the standard competition model with constant carrying capacity. In this scenario, lumped species distributions can come about by secondary ecological or evolutionary mechanisms or by details of the numerical implementation of the model. We analyze the origin of this sensitivity and discuss it in the context of recent applications of the model.

AB - A central model in theoretical ecology considers the competition of a range of species for a broad spectrum of resources. Recent studies have shown that essentially two different outcomes are possible. Either the species surviving competition are more or less uniformly distributed over the resource spectrum, or their distribution is “lumped” (or “clumped”), consisting of clusters of species with similar resource use that are separated by gaps in resource space. Which of these outcomes will occur crucially depends on the competition kernel, which reflects the shape of the resource utilization pattern of the competing species. Most models considered in the literature assume a Gaussian competition kernel. This is unfortunate, since predictions based on such a Gaussian assumption are not robust. In fact, Gaussian kernels are a border case scenario, and slight deviations from this function can lead to either uniform or lumped species distributions. Here, we illustrate the non-robustness of the Gaussian assumption by simulating different implementations of the standard competition model with constant carrying capacity. In this scenario, lumped species distributions can come about by secondary ecological or evolutionary mechanisms or by details of the numerical implementation of the model. We analyze the origin of this sensitivity and discuss it in the context of recent applications of the model.

U2 - 10.1007/s12080-009-0056-2

DO - 10.1007/s12080-009-0056-2

M3 - Journal article

VL - 3

SP - 89

EP - 96

JO - Theoretical Ecology

T2 - Theoretical Ecology

JF - Theoretical Ecology

SN - 1874-1738

IS - 2

ER -