It is possible for many species that broadly require the same resources to coexist, without a single species taking over the environment. This is somewhat perplexing, as naively one might assume that simply the most fit species would "win", forcing the others to extinction.
Broadly, there are two ways of theoretically explaining this: to assume that differences between species are of paramount importance and that biodiversity is deterministic (the niche approach) or to assume that differences between species are unimportant, biodiversity is caused by stochastic effects and that the environment is fundamentally unstable (the neutral approach). I will give a brief explanation of these two types of models and introduce a model which combines elements of both. I will present the results of this model and show how it may explain some mysterious empirical findings.
This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..