Population Fluctuations and Food Web Complexity in Model Ecosystems

X. Chen (Canada)


Ecosystem modelling, complexity, population fluctuation, power spectrum, stability.


This investigation uses simulation of stochastically assembled Lotka-Volterra models to investigate the pattern of transient and steady state fluctuations in relation to complexity of model ecosystems. The simulation shows that complex food webs have in general a higher probability of transient and steady state oscillations than simple webs. Under identical random noises, the amplitude of fluctuations increases with both species richness and connetance in locally asymptotically stable systems while showing no obvious trend in locally asymptotically unstable systems. The frequency of fluctuations does not exhibit any strong dependence on species richness while generally increases with connectance in both locally asymptotically stable systems and locally asymptotically unstable systems.

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