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Geometrical envelopes: Extending graphical contemporary niche theory to communities and eco-evolutionary dynamics

Abstract : Contemporary niche theory is a powerful structuring framework in theoretical ecology. First developed in the context of resource competition, it has been extended to encompass other types of regulating factors such as shared predators, parasites or inhibitors. A central component of contemporary niche theory is a graphical approach popularized by Tilman that illustrates the different outcomes of competition along environmental gradients, like coexistence and competitive exclusion. These food web modules have been used to address species sorting in community ecology, as well as adaptation and coexistence on eco-evolutionary time scales in adaptive dynamics. Yet, the associated graphical approach has been underused so far in the evolutionary context. In this paper, we provide a rigorous approach to extend this graphical method to a continuum of interacting strategies, using the geometrical concept of the envelope. Not only does this approach provide community and eco-evolutionary bifurcation diagrams along environmental gradients, it also sheds light on the similarities and differences between those two perspectives. Adaptive dynamics naturally merges with this ecological framework, with a close correspondence between the classification of singular strategies and the geometrical properties of the envelope. Finally, this approach provides an integrative tool to study adaptation between levels of organization, from the individual to the ecosystem.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01361346
Contributor : Anne-Gestion Labo Duputié <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 10:56:30 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 6:04:57 AM

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Thomas Koffel, Tanguy Daufresne, François Massol, Christopher A. Klausmeier. Geometrical envelopes: Extending graphical contemporary niche theory to communities and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Elsevier, 2016, 407, pp.271-289. ⟨10.1016/j.jtbi.2016.07.026⟩. ⟨hal-01361346⟩

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