1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Ecology
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Resource Competition: When communities collide

  1. Jason Merritt
  2. Seppe Kuehn  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e18753 doi: 10.7554/eLife.18753
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Community collision and cohesion.

Two groups of randomly chosen species are separately grown in environments with various resources, yielding two distinct communities. A "high fitness" community (A, blue) consumes nearly all available resources, and a "low fitness" community (B, red) uses less of the available resources. Note that fitness is defined by the ability to consume resources; therefore otherwise low-performing individuals can form a high-fitness community as long as they consume all the resources in the environment. When species from both groups are grown together in a new environment, species from the low fitness community are more likely to go extinct, resulting in the cohesion of the high fitness community even when the interactions between species in the high-fitness community are purely competitive.

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