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Modelling Macro Ecological Patterns: Neutral Theory and Beyond

Friday 14th November 2014 - 11:00 to 12:00
INI Seminar Room 2
Session Chair: 
Stephen Cornell
Classical ecological theory suggests that two species can only coexist if they use resources differently. By contrast, "Neutral" theory proposes that ecological drift allows species to coexist even if they are ecologically equivalent. Neutral models give a surprisingly good description of several well-known macroecological patterns, but require numerous biologically unpalatable assumptions. I shall discuss how these assumptions can be relaxed to produce more realistic, yet still mathematically tractable ecological theories. I will begin my talk with a short introduction to a variety of modelling frameworks used to describe ecological patterns of abundance.

Video for an earlier version of this talk is available.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons