The atmosphere as a driver for diversity


Spatial structure has been shown to play an important role in the ecology of different modes of interaction, such as predation or competition. However, most studies focus on micrometer-sized structures such as the impact of bacterial colony formation upon predation by (bacterio)phages. We here present a numerical investigation of the ecological impact of the atmosphere on these modes from a population dynamics approach combined with a simple lattice model of the atmosphere. In our model, advection, molecular diffusion and aerosolization and deposition fluxes are combined with system-specific interactions (that from a bacteria-phage predator system) to suggest their possible role in patterning formation and steady-state population densities. Preliminary results point towards a discrepancy from the mean-field approximation, and to advection as the driver of spatial structure in population density.