Document Detail


The resilience and resistance of an ecosystem to a collapse of diversity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23029410     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Diversity is expected to increase the resilience of ecosystems. Nevertheless, highly diverse ecosystems have collapsed, as did Lake Victoria's ecosystem of cichlids or Caribbean coral reefs. We try to gain insight to this paradox, by analyzing a simple model of a diverse community where each competing species inflicts a small mortality pressure on an introduced predator. High diversity strengthens this feedback and prevents invasion of the introduced predator. After a gradual loss of native species, the introduced predator can escape control and the system collapses into a contrasting, invaded, low-diversity state. Importantly, we find that a diverse system that has high complementarity gains in resilience, whereas a diverse system with high functional redundancy gains in resistance. Loss of resilience can display early-warning signals of a collapse, but loss of resistance not. Our results emphasize the need for multiple approaches to studying the functioning of ecosystems, as managing an ecosystem requires understanding not only the threats it is vulnerable to but also pressures it appears resistant to.
Authors:
Andrea S Downing; Egbert H van Nes; Wolf M Mooij; Marten Scheffer
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-09-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-02     Completed Date:  2013-03-05     Revised Date:  2013-07-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e46135     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. andrea.downing@wur.nl
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Biodiversity*
Biomass
Ecosystem*
Models, Biological
Predatory Behavior
Comments/Corrections

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