The effects of interaction compartments on stability for competitive systems

Ian D. Rozdilsky, Lewi Stone, Andrew Solow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interactions between species are unlikely to be randomly arranged, and there is increasing evidence that most interactions occur within small species sub-groups, or compartments, that do not strongly interact with one another. We examine whether arranging the interactions of a competitive system into compartments influences the system properties of linear stability, feasibility, reactivity, and biomass stability, thereby altering the likelihood of species persistence. Model Lotka-Volterra systems of diffuse competition were analysed with interactions arranged randomly and in compartments. It was found, using a variety of dynamical measures, that arranging interactions into compartments enhances the likelihood of species persistence. Since many natural competitive systems appear to have interactions arranged within compartments, this may be an outcome of the positive attributes that this form of organization offers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2004


  • Biomass variability
  • Compartments
  • Competition
  • Lotka-Volterra
  • Reactivity
  • Stability


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