Episode 58: Lumped together – explaining species co-existence
The competitive exclusion principle states that in the long term, the number of species should never exceed the number of available resources. Phytoplankton species paradoxically violate this rule. Instead, species with similar traits co-exist in “clumps” in which there is redundancy among species occupying the same niche, helping ensure the delivery of certain ecosystem services in the face of natural fluctuations in nutrient availability.
In this Naturally Speaking podcast, marine ecologist Sofie Spatharis (@SofieSpatharis) and computational ecologist Rebecca Mancy (@RebeccaMancy) tell Naturally Speaking editors Martina Quaggiotto (@mmquaggiotto) and Taya Forde (@TayaForde) about their recent paper published in the high-impact journal PNAS – a paper that represents a critical step towards understanding the mechanisms underpinning the coexistence of species in a naturally fluctuating environment. You will also get to hear about their research interests and how they creatively developed and advanced previous theories through their important findings.
Featured publication: Sakavara A, Tsirtsis G, Roelke DL, Mancy R and Spatharis S. Lumpy species coexistence arises robustly in fluctuating resource environments. PNAS 2018. 115 (4):738-743; DOI 10.1073/pnas.1705944115
Feature image: Original artwork courtesy of PhD researcher Eleni Christoforou, 2018©