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Journal Article

A resource-based game theoretical approach for the paradox of the plankton


Huang,  Weini
Department Evolutionary Theory, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Huang, W., de Campos, A., Roberto, P., Moraes de Oliveira, V., & Fagundes Ferrreira, F. (2016). A resource-based game theoretical approach for the paradox of the plankton. PeerJ, 4. doi:10.7717/peerj.2329.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-0A23-0
The maintenance of species diversity is a central focus in ecology. It is not rare to observe more species than the number of limiting resources, especially in plankton communities. However, such high species diversity is hard to achieve in theory under the competitive exclusion principles, known as the plankton paradox. Previous studies often focus on the coexistence of predefined species and ignore the fact that species can evolve. We model multi-resource competitions using evolutionary games, where the number of species fluctuates under extinction and the appearance of new species. The interspecific and intraspecific competitions are captured by a dynamical payoff matrix, which has a size of the number of species. The competition strength (payoff entries) is obtained from comparing the capability of species in consuming resources, which can change over time. This allows for the robust coexistence of a large number of species, providing a possible solution to the plankton paradox.