Effects of biotic interactions and dispersal on the presence-absence of multiple species
One of the important issues in ecology is to predict which species will be present (or absent) across a geographical region. Dispersal is thought to have an important influence on the range limits of species, and understanding this problem in a multi-species community with priority effects (i.e. initial abundances determine species presence-absence) is a challenging task because dispersal also interacts with biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we propose a simple multi-species model to investigate the joint effects of biotic interactions and dispersal on species presence-absence. Our results show that dispersal can substantially expand species ranges when biotic and abiotic forces are present; consequently, coexistence of multiple species is possible. The model also exhibits ecologically interesting priority effects, mediated by intense biotic interactions. In the absence of dispersal, competitive exclusion of all but one species occurs. We find that dispersal reduces competitive exclusion effects that occur in no-dispersal case and promotes coexistence of multiple species. These results also show that priority effects are still prevalent in multi-species communities in the presence of dispersal process. We also illustrate the existence of threshold values of competitive strength (i.e. transcritical bifurcations), which results in different species presence-absence in multi-species communities with and without dispersal.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordspartial-differential equations; range limits; priority effects; dispersal; biotic interactions; abiotic environments; Mathematical Physics
Fields of Research0602 Ecology
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