COS 71-4 - Resonance of plankton communities with temperature fluctuations

Wednesday, August 10, 2011: 2:30 PM
5, Austin Convention Center
Elisa Benincà1, Vasilis Dakos2, Egbert H. van Nes3, Jef Huisman4 and Marten Scheffer3, (1)Aquatic Microbiology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, (2)Integrative Ecology Group, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Seville, Spain, (3)Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands, (4)Aquatic Microbiology, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The interplay between intrinsic population dynamics and environmental variation is still poorly understood. It is known, however, that even mild environmental noise may induce large fluctuations in population abundances. This is due to a resonance effect that occurs in communities on the edge of stability. Here, we use a simple predator-prey model to explore the sensitivity of plankton communities to stochastic environmental fluctuations.


Our results show that the magnitude of resonance depends on the time scale of intrinsic population dynamics versus the characteristic time scale of the environmental fluctuations. Predator-prey communities with an intrinsic tendency to oscillate at a period T are particularly responsive to red noise characterized by a time scale of τ= T/2π. We demonstrate that the relatively fast temperature fluctuations in shallow lakes fall largely within the range to which rotifers and cladocerans are most sensitive, while marine copepods and krill will tend to resonate more strongly with the slower temperature variability of the open ocean.

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