The "kill the winner" hypothesis is an attempt to address the problem of diversity in biology. It argues that host-specific predators control the population of each prey, preventing a winner from emerging and thus maintaining the coexistence of all species in the system. We develop a stochastic model for the kill the winner paradigm and show that the stable coexistence state of the deterministic kill the winner model is destroyed by demographic stochasticity, through a cascade of extinction events. We formulate an individual-level stochastic model in which predator-prey coevolution promotes the high diversity of the ecosystem by generating a persistent population flux of species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)