Event Detail

Event Type: 
Mathematical Biology Seminar
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 12:00 to 12:50
Kidd 237

Speaker Info


We analyze four decades of biannual long-term subtidal monitoring and relate the rugosity of the underlying benthic substrate to distinct spatiotemporal dynamics of kelp forest community structure. By evaluating multimodality in system state and calculating the velocity of community shift, we provide empirical evidence for the relationships between the state of the system’s stability landscape (i.e., the potential landscape), the propensity of community structure to shift between alternative stable states, and the velocity in which these shifts occur. Our results indicate rugosity is a master variable controlling both the type and number of possible alternative stable states and the velocity in which community change occurs. In contrast to velocity expectations associated with long transients, we found shifts between alternative kelp forest states to be abrupt, high-velocity events, indicating external pulse perturbations and stochasticity rapidly propel systems across unstable space towards alternative attractors.