An ecosystem itself is made up of very complex elements and processes. It is difficult to keep track of all the factors affecting the behavior of the complex communities that live within it, and even more difficult to know which factor is affecting which part of it. But in new research, researchers have tried to figure out which key factors affecting ecosystem communities can help predict its sustainability. The most important of these is the interaction between the species of the system, which contributes the most. (Credit Image: Shutterstock) The study, led by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that ecosystem behavior can be predicted based on only two types of information. First, how many species are in the system’s community, and second, how strongly they interact with each other. Studying the dynamics of natural ecosystems is very difficult. Scientists can observe interactions between species, but they cannot conduct controlled experiments in the wild. (Credit Image: Shutterstock) That’s why MIT researchers analyzed interactions between microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast under controlled conditions. They were hoping that through this they would be able to understand the behavior of natural ecosystems. They created communities of two to 48 species of bacteria and studied the interactions of the species by adding them to controlled concentrations of food under different conditions. (Credit Image: Shutterstock) The researchers defined ecological communities in three stages and calculated the necessary conditions by which they transition from one stage to another. Initially, each ecological community lived in a phase of constant absolute existence where all species did not interfere with each other in any way. But as the number of species increases or the interactions between them increase, communities enter a new phase of “stable partial coexistence.” (Credit Image: Shutterstock) In the stable partial coexistence phase, the population stays the same, but some species become extinct. Then, as the number of species or the strength of their interactions increases, communities enter the third stage. Where there are very dramatic fluctuations in population. In this phase the ecosystem becomes unstable and the population fluctuates over time. (Credit Image: Shutterstock) The researchers say that although we cannot access all the biological systems in a complex ecosystem, they have shown that diversity and dynamics can be measured and measured within an ecological community. There are only species. (Credit Image: Shutterstock)


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