Competitive coexistence in a dynamic landscape

Manojit Roy, Mercedes Pascual, Simon A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the effect of a dynamic landscape on the persistence of many interacting species. We develop a multi-species community model with an evolving landscape in which the creation and destruction of habitat are dynamic and local in space. Species interactions are also local involving hierarchical competitive trade-offs. We show that dynamic landscapes can reverse the trend of increasing species richness with higher fragmentation observed in static landscapes. The increase in the species-area exponent from a homogeneous to a fragmented landscape does not occur when dynamics are turned on. Thus, temporal aspects of the processes that generate and destroy habitat appear dominant relative to spatial characteristics. We also demonstrate, however, that temporal and spatial aspects interact to influence the persistence time of individual species, and therefore, rank-abundance curves. Specifically, persistence in the model increases in habitats with faster local turnover because of the presence of dynamic corridors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Community dynamics
  • Competition models
  • Diversity
  • Dynamic landscape
  • Trade-off models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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