Markus Brede, Sitabhra Sinha, Christopher Wilmers

Paper #: 02-10-059

The stability-diversity debate in ecology has been polarized by the often contradictory results of empirical and theoretical studies. Here we present a novel way to model community assembly based on eigenvalue analysis and consider the stability of assembled communities. In concordance with previous work, we find that communities with weaker mean interaction strength support a larger number of species. However, as communities increase in average size, resistance, measured as the coefficient of variation of community size, and resilience, measured as the average return time to mean community size, both increase. Our results suggest that further study of the temporal variation in community properties may be an important tool in resolving the stability-diversity debate.