Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell. 2012 May 25;149(5):1164-73. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.040.

Contingency and statistical laws in replicate microbial closed ecosystems.

Author information

1
Center for Studies in Physics and Biology and Laboratory of Living Matter, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Abstract

Contingency, the persistent influence of past random events, pervades biology. To what extent, then, is each course of ecological or evolutionary dynamics unique, and to what extent are these dynamics subject to a common statistical structure? Addressing this question requires replicate measurements to search for emergent statistical laws. We establish a readily replicated microbial closed ecosystem (CES), sustaining its three species for years. We precisely measure the local population density of each species in many CES replicates, started from the same initial conditions and kept under constant light and temperature. The covariation among replicates of the three species densities acquires a stable structure, which could be decomposed into discrete eigenvectors, or "ecomodes." The largest ecomode dominates population density fluctuations around the replicate-average dynamics. These fluctuations follow simple power laws consistent with a geometric random walk. Thus, variability in ecological dynamics can be studied with CES replicates and described by simple statistical laws.

PMID:
22632978
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center