Modelling of « the evolution » of ecosystems

Abstract : Do ecosystems evolve? If yes, how should we define them and test this question? In order to take into account for both abiotic (inert) and biotic (living) components, the multi-level organization and the diversity of interactions of any ecosystem, as well as to model its possible evolution, a discrete and qualitative model such as a Petri net seems to be a relevant method able to simplify the system without losing its properties. It consists in representing ecosystem as a graph, with components as nodes that are linked between them by ecological processes or interactions between nodes (edges). Starting with this representation and with the Petri net formalism, we developed two different models based on artificial and natural selection: the first model on microbial communities with artificial selection based on the CO2 emissions, and the second model on the nitrogen cycle focusing on the Anammox and O2 appearance in the course of evolution. The first model is not satisfying our requirements, while the second one seems to be relevant and suggests an in-depth study. Finally, although we are not in the position to confirm (or infirm) the evolution of ecosystems, this study has shown the probable interest to develop qualitative and discrete models to study it.
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Master Thesis
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Thi Thu Tam Nguyen. Modelling of « the evolution » of ecosystems. Life Sciences [q-bio]. 2018. ⟨dumas-02138940⟩

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