The coexistence model (Di Paola et al., 2012) is a simple quantitative dynamic model able to explain the observed co-occurrence of sclerophyllous evergreen oak species with deciduous ones of the Mediterranean forests.

The model is formulated as a set of differential equations describing the competitive dynamic between two groups of species having different physiological responses to water stress. The work is based on a minimalistic approach in which the soil water content may act both as a limiting resource and as a chronic stress. Evapotranspiration processes, a simple hydrological balance, and a rudimentary form of competition for space are also included.

In spite of its simplicity, the model is able to explain the observed coexistence in forests of Tyrrhenian central Italy.


Arianna Di Paola

  • Di Paola, A., Valentini, R., & Paparella, F. (2012). Climate change threatens coexistence within communities of Mediterranean forested wetlands. PloS one, 7(10), e44727.