Competing associations in bacterial warfare with two toxins

Péter Szabó, T. Czárán, G. Szabó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Simple combinations of common competitive mechanisms can easily result in cyclic competitive dominance relationships between species. The topological features of such competitive networks allow for complex spatial coexistence patterns. We investigate self-organization and coexistence in a lattice model, describing the spatial population dynamics of competing bacterial strains. With increasing diffusion rate the community of the nine possible toxicity/resistance types undergoes two phase transitions. Below a critical level of diffusion, the system exhibits expanding domains of three different defensive alliances, each consisting of three cyclically dominant species. Due to the neutral relationship between these alliances and the finite system size effect, ultimately only one of them remains. At large diffusion rates the system admits three coexisting domains, each containing mutually neutral species. Because of the cyclical dominance between these domains, a long term stable coexistence of all species is ensured. In the third phase at intermediate diffusion the spatial structure becomes even more complicated with domains of mutually neutral species persisting along the borders of defensive alliances. The study reveals that cyclic competitive relationships may produce a large variety of complex coexistence patterns, exhibiting common features of natural ecosystems, like hierarchical organization, phase transitions and sudden, large-scale fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-744
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume248
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2007

Fingerprint

Biological Warfare
Military operations
toxins
Coexistence
Phase Transition
phase transition
Phase transitions
Population dynamics
Population Dynamics
Ecosystems
Size Effect
Ecosystem
Toxicity
Spatial Structure
Self-organization
Lattice Model
population dynamics
toxicity
ecosystems
Fluctuations

Keywords

  • Coexistence
  • Competition
  • Cyclical dominance
  • Self-organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Competing associations in bacterial warfare with two toxins. / Szabó, Péter; Czárán, T.; Szabó, G.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 248, No. 4, 21.10.2007, p. 736-744.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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