Species Coexistence in Spatial, Non-Equilibrium Environments
- Author(s): Churukian, Pierre;
- Advisor(s): Sandin, Stuart A;
- et al.
A challenge in ecology is to understand how so many species are organized in their communities and which coexistence mechanisms act to maintain diversity. The methods of ecological theory can further challenge by incorporating implicit assumptions. The non-equilibrium approach is useful as it includes the fluctuating environments so prevalent in nature. A growing number of empirical works attempt to quantify coexistence mechanisms. Recent developments in Modern Coexistence Theory in combination with tools from Spatial Simulation can leverage long-term field observations as well as the experience of field ecologists to create spatial models for use as a hypotheses-testing platform. An individual-based model of community dynamics is presented using a framework of Pattern-Oriented Modeling to serve as validation.