Assistant Professor of Biology Chris Moore and colleagues have authored a paper in theoretical ecology in the journal Ecological Modelling. Titled “Population dynamics of mutualism and intraspecific density dependence: How θ-logistic density dependence affects mutualistic positive feedback,” Moore et al. challenge a 40-year paradigm that positive species interactions are prevented from positive feedback through diminishing benefits as population densities increase. Instead, they show that using empirically observed within-species density-dependent regulation, positive feedback can be prevented without using diminishing benefits. Given that diminishing benefits appear to be the exception rather than the rule in nature, they hope that their model will release some of the constraints that normally inhibit the modeling of positive species interactions and will potentially allow for greater insight to how positive species interactions affect the abundance and distributions of species.

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