A simple model for skewed species-lifetime distributions

Yohsuke Murase, Takashi Shimada, Nobuyasu Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A simple model of a biological community assembly is studied. Communities are assembled by successive migrations and extinctions of species. In the model, species are interacting with each other. The intensity of the interaction between each pair of species is denoted by an interaction coefficient. At each time step, a new species is introduced to the system with randomly assigned interaction coefficients. If the sum of the coefficients, which we call the fitness of a species, is negative, the species goes extinct. The species-lifetime distribution is found to be well characterized by a stretched exponential function with an exponent close to 1/2. This profile agrees not only with more realistic population dynamics models but also with fossil records. We also find that an age-independent and inversely diversity-dependent mortality, which is confirmed in the simulation, is a key mechanism accounting for the distribution. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)063021
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 11 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-I1-005-04
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to P A Rikvold for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was partially supported by award no. KUK-I1-005-04 from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) no. 21740284 to TS from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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