Noise promotes species diversity in nature

Ying-Cheng Lai, Y R Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Species diversity in nature is accomplished by coexistence. In a spatial environment, inferior but rapidly moving species can coexist with superior but relatively stationary species. Recent work showed that chaotic dynamics can provide the spatiotemporal variation in the fitness required for coexistence, via the dynamical mechanism of synchronization and intermittency. Utilizing a realistic model that consists of two interacting species in a two-patch environment, we discovered a stochastic-resonance phenomenon where noise can significantly enhance the coexistence and thereby promote species diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number038102
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2005


  • stochastic resonance
  • population dynamics
  • dispersal
  • evolution
  • metapopulation
  • mechanism
  • benefits
  • systems


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