"The structural stability of complex ecological systems" by Serguei Saavedra

Past Event

11 March 2014, 1:30pm 10 March 2014 - 3:00pm


This seminar is hosted by the Oxford Martin Programme on Complexity, The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and The CABDyN Complexity Centre

Speaker: Serguei Saavedra, Postdoctoral Felllow, Integrative Ecology Group - Bascompte Lab, Estación Biológica de Doñana

Abstract: A prevailing question encountered across the ecological literature is whether given an observed number of species and their interactions, there are ways to organize those interactions that lead to more persistent communities. Conventionally, studies have looked into local stability and used numerical simulations to address this question, however, these studies have found that the network of interspecific interactions have either positive, negative, or no effects. In this talk, I will introduce a general framework based on the concept of structural stability to explain such a disparity of results. The structural stability of a system corresponds to the set of conditions on the parameters of the system leading to a qualitative behavior. Here, we demonstrate that observed network architectures of ecological systems maximize the range of conditions compatible with the stable coexistence of species. These findings reveal that structural stability may provide a unified, context?independent assessment of the implications of the architectural patterns observed in nature.

Venue: Roy Griffiths Room, Keble College, Oxford

For further information please contact the Cabdyn Administrator: info.cabdyn@sbs.ox.ac.uk, 01865 288785