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Theor Popul Biol. 2000 May;57(3):273-84.

Species coexistence by permanent spatial heterogeneity in a lottery model.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8581, Japan.


We studied the effect of permanent spatial heterogeneity in promoting species coexistence in a lottery model. The system consisted of multiple habitats, each composed of a number of sites occupied by adults of two species. Larvae produced from different habitats were mixed in a common pool. When an adult died, the vacant site became occupied by an individual randomly chosen from the larval pool. If there were n habitats, there could be up to n-1 internal equilibria with both species in addition to two single-species equilibria. These equilibria and their local stability can be calculated from a single function, indicating the difference among species in their average lifetime reproductive success. Our main result is that between-habitat variation in the ratio of mortalities of two species promotes coexistence, while that of reproductive rates does not. This conclusion is the opposite of the role of temporal variation in the standard lottery model, in which between-year variation in the reproductive rate, but not that in the mortalities, promotes coexistence.

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