On the limits to invasion prediction using coexistence outcomes

Jie Deng, Washington Taylor, Simon A. Levin, Serguei Saavedra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of ecological communities in nature are typically characterized by probabilistic processes involving invasion dynamics. Because of technical challenges, however, the majority of theoretical and experimental studies have focused on coexistence dynamics. Therefore, it has become central to understand the extent to which coexistence outcomes can be used to predict analogous invasion outcomes relevant to systems in nature. Here, we study the limits to this predictability under a geometric and probabilistic Lotka–Volterra framework. We show that while individual survival probability in coexistence dynamics can be fairly closely translated into invader colonization probability in invasion dynamics, the translation is less precise between community persistence and community augmentation, and worse between exclusion probability and replacement probability. These results provide a guiding and testable theoretical framework regarding the translatability of outcomes between coexistence and invasion outcomes when communities are represented by Lotka–Volterra dynamics under environmental uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111674
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
StatePublished - Jan 21 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation


  • Exclusion
  • Geometry
  • Interactions
  • Invasion
  • Predictability
  • Probability


Dive into the research topics of 'On the limits to invasion prediction using coexistence outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this