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      Evolution of resource specialisation in competitive metacommunities

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          Abstract

          Spatial environmental heterogeneity coupled with dispersal can promote ecological persistence of diverse metacommunities. Does this premise hold when metacommunities evolve? Using a two‐resource competition model, we studied the evolution of resource‐uptake specialisation as a function of resource type (substitutable to essential) and shape of the trade‐off between resource uptake affinities (generalist‐ to specialist‐favouring). In spatially homogeneous environments, evolutionarily stable coexistence of consumers is only possible for sufficiently substitutable resources and specialist‐favouring trade‐offs. Remarkably, these same conditions yield comparatively low diversity in heterogeneous environments, because they promote sympatric evolution of two opposite resource specialists that, together, monopolise the two resources everywhere. Consumer diversity is instead maximised for intermediate trade‐offs and clearly substitutable or clearly essential resources, where evolved metacommunities are characterised by contrasting selection regimes. Taken together, our results present new insights into resource‐competition‐mediated evolutionarily stable diversity in homogeneous and heterogeneous environments, which should be applicable to a wide range of systems.

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          Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs.

          The commonly observed high diversity of trees in tropical rain forests and corals on tropical reefs is a nonequilibrium state which, if not disturbed further, will progress toward a low-diversity equilibrium community. This may not happen if gradual changes in climate favor different species. If equilibrium is reached, a lesser degree of diversity may be sustained by niche diversification or by a compensatory mortality that favors inferior competitors. However, tropical forests and reefs are subject to severe disturbances often enough that equilibrium may never be attained.
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            Some Characteristics of Simple Types of Predation and Parasitism

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                jonas.wickman@gmail.com
                Journal
                Ecol Lett
                Ecol. Lett
                10.1111/(ISSN)1461-0248
                ELE
                Ecology Letters
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                1461-023X
                1461-0248
                07 August 2019
                November 2019
                : 22
                : 11 ( doiID: 10.1111/ele.v22.11 )
                : 1746-1756
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ] Integrated Science Lab, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics Umeå University SE‐90187 Umeå Sweden
                [ 2 ] Integrated Science Lab, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science Umeå University SE‐90187 Umeå Sweden
                [ 3 ] Evolution and Ecology Program International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Schlossplatz 12361 Laxenburg Austria
                Author notes
                [*] [* ]Correspondence: E‐mail: jonas.wickman@ 123456gmail.com
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5695-0027
                Article
                ELE13338
                10.1111/ele.13338
                6852178
                31389134
                81a9fa31-d2b2-4522-9fb1-508329127054
                © 2019 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 07 January 2019
                : 20 February 2019
                : 12 June 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Pages: 11, Words: 8440
                Funding
                Funded by: Swedish Research Council , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100004359;
                Award ID: 2015‐3917
                Categories
                Letter
                Letters
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                November 2019
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.1 mode:remove_FC converted:13.11.2019

                Ecology
                adaptive dynamics,coexistence,consumer–resource interactions,ess,spatial models
                Ecology
                adaptive dynamics, coexistence, consumer–resource interactions, ess, spatial models

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