Neutral community dynamics and the evolution of species interactions

Nenhuma Miniatura disponível



Título da Revista

ISSN da Revista

Título de Volume



A contemporary goal in ecology is to determine the ecological and evolutionary processes that generate recurring structural patterns in mutualistic networks. One of the great challenges is testing the capacity of neutral processes to replicate observed patterns in ecological networks, since the original formulation of the neutral theory lacks trophic interactions. Here, we develop a stochastic-simulation neutral model adding trophic interactions to the neutral theory of biodiversity. Without invoking ecological differences among individuals of different species, and assuming that ecological interactions emerge randomly, we demonstrate that a spatially explicit multitrophic neutral model is able to capture the recurrent structural patterns of mutualistic networks (i.e., degree distribution, connectance, nestedness, and phylogenetic signal of species interactions). Nonrandom species distribution, caused by probabilistic events of migration and speciation, create nonrandom network patterns. These findings have broad implications for the interpretation of niche-based processes as drivers of ecological networks, as well as for the integration of network structures with demographic stochasticity.




COELHO, Marco Túlio P.; RANGEL, Thiago F. Neutral community dynamics and the evolution of species interactions. American Naturalist, Chicago, v. 191, n. 4, p. 421-434, 2018. DOI: 10.1086/696216. Disponível em: Acesso em: 31 ago. 2023.