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Detecting alternative attractors in ecosystem dynamics

Säterberg, Torbjörn and McCann, Kevin (2021). Detecting alternative attractors in ecosystem dynamics. Communications biology. 4 , 975
[Research article]

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Saterberg and McCann introduce a time-series method to test whether systems exhibit alternative dynamical attractors. Through simulated and experimental data from a planktonic predator-prey system, their results show that if population dynamics are induced by internal factors to the system, then alternative dynamical attractors can be detected.Dynamical systems theory suggests that ecosystems may exhibit alternative dynamical attractors. Such alternative attractors, as for example equilibria and cycles, have been found in the dynamics of experimental systems. Yet, for natural systems, where multiple biotic and abiotic factors simultaneously affect population dynamics, it is more challenging to distinguish alternative dynamical behaviors. Although recent research exemplifies that some natural systems can exhibit alternative states, a robust methodology for testing whether these constitute distinct dynamical attractors is currently lacking. Here, using attractor reconstruction techniques we develop such a test. Applications of the methodology to simulated, experimental and natural time series data, reveal that alternative dynamical behaviors are hard to distinguish if population dynamics are governed by purely stochastic processes. However, if population dynamics are brought about also by mechanisms internal to the system, alternative attractors can readily be detected. Since many natural populations display evidence of such internally driven dynamics, our approach offers a method for empirically testing whether ecosystems exhibit alternative dynamical attractors.

Authors/Creators:Säterberg, Torbjörn and McCann, Kevin
Title:Detecting alternative attractors in ecosystem dynamics
Series Name/Journal:Communications biology
Year of publishing :2021
Article number:975
Number of Pages:8
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000686655000002
ID Code:25289
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:09 Sep 2021 13:25
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2021 13:31

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