Species survival emerge from rare events of individual migration

Yuval R. Zelnik, Sorin Solomon, Gur Yaari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Ecosystems greatly vary in their species composition and interactions, yet they all show remarkable resilience to external influences. Recent experiments have highlighted the significant effects of spatial structure and connectivity on the extinction and survival of species. It has also been emphasized lately that in order to study extinction dynamics reliably, it is essential to incorporate stochasticity, and in particular the discrete nature of populations, into the model. Accordingly, we applied a bottom-up modeling approach that includes both spatial features and stochastic interactions to study survival mechanisms of species. Using the simplest spatial extension of the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model with competition, subject to demographic and environmental noise, we were able to systematically study emergent properties of this rich system. By scanning the relevant parameter space, we show that both survival and extinction processes often result from a combination of habitat fragmentation and individual rare events of recolonization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7877
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2015


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