🍩 Database of Original & Non-Theoretical Uses of Topology

(found 2 matches in 0.00121s)
  1. Topological Early Warning Signals: Quantifying Varying Routes to Extinction in a Spatially Distributed Population Model (2022)

    Laura S. Storch, Sarah L. Day
    Abstract Understanding and predicting critical transitions in spatially explicit ecological systems is particularly challenging due to their complex spatial and temporal dynamics and high dimensionality. Here, we explore changes in population distribution patterns during a critical transition (an extinction event) using computational topology. Computational topology allows us to quantify certain features of a population distribution pattern, such as the level of fragmentation. We create population distribution patterns via a simple coupled patch model with Ricker map growth and nearest neighbors dispersal on a two dimensional lattice. We observe two dominant paths to extinction within the explored parameter space that depend critically on the dispersal rate d and the rate of parameter drift, Δϵ. These paths to extinction are easily topologically distinguishable, so categorization can be automated. We use this population model as a theoretical proof-of-concept for the methodology, and argue that computational topology is a powerful tool for analyzing dynamical changes in systems with noisy data that are coarsely resolved in space and/or time. In addition, computational topology can provide early warning signals for chaotic dynamical systems where traditional statistical early warning signals would fail. For these reasons, we envision this work as a helpful addition to the critical transitions prediction toolbox.
  2. Coexistence Holes Characterize the Assembly and Disassembly of Multispecies Systems (2021)

    Marco Tulio Angulo, Aaron Kelley, Luis Montejano, Chuliang Song, Serguei Saavedra
    Abstract A central goal of ecological research has been to understand the limits on the maximum number of species that can coexist under given constraints. However, we know little about the assembly and disassembly processes under which a community can reach such a maximum number, or whether this number is in fact attainable in practice. This limitation is partly due to the challenge of performing experimental work and partly due to the lack of a formalism under which one can systematically study such processes. Here, we introduce a formalism based on algebraic topology and homology theory to study the space of species coexistence formed by a given pool of species. We show that this space is characterized by ubiquitous discontinuities that we call coexistence holes (that is, empty spaces surrounded by filled space). Using theoretical and experimental systems, we provide direct evidence showing that these coexistence holes do not occur arbitrarily—their diversity is constrained by the internal structure of species interactions and their frequency can be explained by the external factors acting on these systems. Our work suggests that the assembly and disassembly of ecological systems is a discontinuous process that tends to obey regularities.