Jul 9, 2017

Coexistence of complete competitors with fitness inequality

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Lev Kalmykov, Vyacheslav Kalmykov


Survival of the fittest is the famous phrase of Herbert Spencer. Later it was transformed in the competitive exclusion principle - the main principle of theoretical ecology. However, there was a long standing contradiction between formulations of this principle and natural species richness, which is known as the biodiversity paradox. Here we investigate a role of fitness differences in coexistence of two completely competing species using individual-based cellular automata. Our method implements automatic logical inference from the first principles of ecosystem theory. We have found a new mechanism how two aggressively propagating complete competitors can stably coexist in one limited, stable and homogeneous habitat, when one species has some advantage in fitness over the other and all other characteristics are equal, in particular any trade-offs and cooperations are absent. This competitive coexistence occurred regardless of the initial position of individuals in the habitat. When colonization of free habitat started from a single individual of each species, then the complete competitors coexisted up to 31% of their difference in fitness. And when on initial stage half of the territory was probabilistically occupied, then the ...Continue Reading

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