ResearchPad - perturbation-theory Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Complex interactions can create persistent fluctuations in high-diversity ecosystems]]> Large abundance fluctuations are well-documented in natural populations. Yet, it is still not known to what extent these fluctuations stem from multi-species interactions, rather than environmental perturbations or demographic processes. There have been long-standing debates on these issues, questioning even the possibility of interaction-driven fluctuations, as they might induce species extinctions until equilibrium is reached.

The situation is all the more challenging and richer in complex high-dimensional settings (many interacting species, many niches, etc.), which feature qualitatively new phenomena, and where theory is still lacking. Here we show that high-diversity metacommunities can persist in dynamically-fluctuating states for extremely long periods of time without extinctions, and with a diversity well above that attained at equilibrium. We describe the quantitative conditions for these endogenous fluctuations, and the key fingerprints which would distinguish them from external perturbations.

We establish a theoretical framework for the many-species dynamics, derived from statistical physics of out-of-equilibrium systems. These settings present unique challenges, and observed behaviors may be counter-intuitive, making specialized theoretical techniques an indispensable tool. Our theory exactly maps the many-species problem to that of a single representative species (metapopulation). This allows us to draw connections with existing theory on perturbed metapopulations, while accounting for unique properties of endogenous feedbacks at high diversity.

<![CDATA[Prediction of perturbed proton transfer networks]]>

The transfer of protons through proton translocating channels is a complex process, for which direct samplings of different protonation states and side chain conformations in a transition network calculation provide an efficient, bias-free description. In principle, a new transition network calculation is required for every unsampled change in the system of interest, e.g. an unsampled protonation state change, which is associated with significant computational costs. Transition networks void of or including an unsampled change are termed unperturbed or perturbed, respectively. Here, we present a prediction method, which is based on an extensive coarse-graining of the underlying transition networks to speed up the calculations. It uses the minimum spanning tree and a corresponding sensitivity analysis of an unperturbed transition network as initial guess and refinement parameter for the determination of an unknown, perturbed transition network. Thereby, the minimum spanning tree defines a sub-network connecting all nodes without cycles and minimal edge weight sum, while the sensitivity analysis analyzes the stability of the minimum spanning tree towards individual edge weight reductions. Using the prediction method, we are able to reduce the calculation costs in a model system by up to 80%, while important network properties are maintained in most predictions.