Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 393419
Title The clumping transition in niche competition: A robust critical phenomenon
Author(s) Fort, H.; Scheffer, M.; Nes, E.H. van
Source Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment 2010 (2010)5. - ISSN 1742-5468
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) limiting similarity - body-size - entropy - space
Abstract We show analytically and numerically that the appearance of lumps and gaps in the distribution of n competing species along a niche axis is a robust phenomenon whenever the finiteness of the niche space is taken into account. In this case, depending on whether the niche width of the species s is above or below a threshold sc, which for large n coincides with 2/n, there are two different regimes. For s > sc the lumpy pattern emerges directly from the dominant eigenvector of the competition matrix because its corresponding eigenvalue becomes negative. For s = sc the lumpy pattern disappears. Furthermore, this clumping transition exhibits critical slowing down as s is approached from above. We also find that the number of lumps of the species distribution versus s displays a stair-step structure. The positions of these steps are distributed according to a power law. It is thus straightforward to predict the number of groups that can be packed along a niche axis and this value is consistent with field measurements for a wide range of the model parameters
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