Does "supersaturated coexistence" resolve the "paradox of the plankton"?

P. Schippers, A.M. Verschoor, Matthijs Vos, W.M. Mooij

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review


In contradiction with field observations, theory predicts that the number of coexisting plankton species at equilibrium cannot exceed the number of limiting resources, which is called the "paradox of the plankton". Recently, Huisman & Weissing (1999, 2000) showed, in a model study, that the number of coexisting species may exceed the number of limiting resources when internal system feedback induces oscillations or chaos. In this paper, we use the term "supersaturated coexistence" for this phenomenon. On the basis of these findings, they claimed that the paradox of the plankton is solved. We investigated the prerequisites for supersaturated coexistence in the same model. Our results indicate that supersaturated coexistence is a rare phenomenon in parameter space, requires a very precise parameterization of the community members and is sensitive to the introduction of new species and the removal of the present species. This raises the question of whether supersaturated coexistence is likely to occur in nature. We conclude that the claim by Huisman & Weissing (1999, 2000) is premature. [KEYWORDS: biodiversity; chemostat; chaos; model;multiple resource competition; oscillations; persistence phytoplankton; supersaturated coexistence Phytoplankton; biodiversity; competition]
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)404-407
TijdschriftEcology Letters
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusGepubliceerd - 2001


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Does "supersaturated coexistence" resolve the "paradox of the plankton"?'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit