Empirical observations show that ecological communities can have a huge number of coexisting species, also with few or limited number of resources. However, standard modeling of population dynamics based on consumer resource or Lotka-Volterra type of equations predicts that ecosystem stability should decrease as the number of species in the community increases and that the number of coexistent species is limited by the number of different type of available resources.
In this talk I will show how cooperation and adaptation are key process to consider when modelling the population dynamics of microbial ecosystems. In the first part of the talk I will introduce adaptive consume resource models where metabolic strategies are dynamics and tend to maximize species’ relative fitness. In the second part I will present a stochastic model which includes exploitative interactions as well as cooperative interactions induced by cross-feeding.
Introducing adaptation and cooperation in the theoretical framework naturally leads to a solution of long-standing questions about complexity-stability and competitive exclusion paradox and on how highly biodiverse microbial communities can coexist in presence of only few resources.
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