The figure here is very similar to the one in the previous post, but these results are for the guild of shallow infaunal suspension feeders (primarily clams). The main difference is the more regular increase in the number of species that become extinct as the perturbation magnitude () increases. Another interesting note is that this guild is not the only driver, or any driver at all, of the behaviours exhibited by the guild of predators. Those predators may or may not prey on members of this guild, and also have an array of prey in other guilds. So the oscillatory behaviour seen at higher perturbation levels is probably system-wide. And it is system-wide because of indirect effects via network links. One wonders what a summary of the results would look like, and what the implications are for individual species population dynamics.
- For example, even at a very low perturbation level, maximum sustainable population sizes oscillate wildly before settling down to a new stable state (which can in fact be the initial one, or zero, indicating extinction). One would assume that population sizes would follow this trend, if the timescales of the perturbation and population growth were sufficiently close. What if they are not? How does this affect what one would actually observe for a given species?
- What is the distribution of stable states over the perturbation range? Are the oscillations observed at high perturbation level convergent, i.e. if run long enough they would also settle to a new stable state? Or are they asymptotic, but never settle down, or settle to two alternative states? One way to find out would be to simply run the series for many additional steps. Another would be model the oscillations themselves, and see if the convergence is linear or asymptotic. And what is the perturbation range of the bifurcations? At what point do we begin to observe oscillation/bifurcation, and is it synchronous throughout the community? Only one way to find out, but I’ll probably have to write some Sed/Awk or Perl scripts to handle these large datafiles.