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11 Oct

What drives ecosystems to instability?

With only a little information, researchers can predict the circumstances under which an ecosystem will be stable or unstable Trying to decipher all of the factors that influence the behavior of complex ecological communities can be a daunting task. However, MIT researchers have now shown that the behavior of these ecosystems can be predicted based on just two pieces of information: the number of species in the community and how strongly they interact with each other. In studies of bacteria grown in the lab, the researchers were able to define three states of ecological communities, and calculated the conditions necessary for them to move from one state to another. These findings allowed the researchers to create a "phase diagram" for ecosystems, similar...
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