Teaching Seminar at CES on 15 April 2021 at 9:30 am titled "Perspectives on species coexistence in ecological communities " by Dr. Meghna Krishnadas from CCMB
Understanding how species coexist despite competition is an enduring challenge in community ecology, with a rich history of theory, empirical work and controversy. In 2000 AD, Peter Chesson published a seminal paper in which he used Lotka-Volterra models of two-species interactions to derive the conditions for coexistence in terms of the relative strength of intra- vs. interspecific interactions. Modern coexistence theory or MCT, as this is termed, also incorporates the role of temporal and spatial factors on coexistence and offers a unifying theoretical framework to understand the processes that maintain diversity. In the years since, MCT has attracted much attention with key theoretical and empirical advances. It has been extended to multi-species systems and applied to questions of species distributions, invasive species, species persistence with climate change, and habitat fragmentation. MCT integrates previous work on species coexistence and is today a key paradigm in community ecology. In this lecture, we will go over the basic components of MCT, relate it to other theories of species coexistence, link to established frameworks of species interactions, and explore empirical applications and limitations. The goal of the lecture is to provide an overview of modern coexistence theory as a conceptual basis to contextualize questions regarding community assembly.