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Tristan Ursell and Nick Lowery’s Research on Competing Species Highlighted on Phys.Org

When species compete for limited resources, structures in their environment can be the difference between coexistence or one eliminating another. Relationships between species also are important, according to new research by University of Oregon scientists.

Scientists have suspected a deep relationship between biodiversity and physical structure of the environment, but nailing it down has been elusive.

The UO’s Tristan Ursell and Nick Lowery have revealed part of that relationship by crunching mathematically rich formulas in thousands of supercomputer simulations across multiple scenarios. In the research, they focused on the influences of physical structures, such as packed particles in soil and epithelial cells in the mammalian gut, on the survival of species living in those environments.

Their findings are in a paper focusing on the dynamics and stability of ecological communities in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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