sNiche - Expanding Neo-Chessonian coexistence theory towards a stochastic theory for species rich communities

1st meeting: 18.-20.01.2016

PI: Thorsten Wiegand; Stan Harpole

The high species richness of communities such as tropical forests has challenged coexistence theory for decades. We synthesize recent coexistence theories by focussing on the role of stochasticity in promoting biodiversity. Because of variability in the biotic neighbourhood of individuals, the interactions between species may in a sense become “diluted” and less predictable and therefore prevent particular species from outcompeting others. We test the new stochastic coexistence theory using spatial analysis of forest plots and by conducting fully controlled biodiversity simulation experiments.

Thorsten Wiegand; Stan Harpole; Felix May; Sebastian Lehmann; Jonathan Chase; Tiffany Knight; Andreas Huth; Karin Frank; Fangliang He; Margie Mayfield; Janneke Hille-Ris Lambers; Karen Abbott; Aubrie James; Lauren Sullivan; Xugao Wang; I-Fang Sun

Meeting summary

2nd meeting: 06.-08.06.2016

PI: Thorsten Wiegand; Stan Harpole

Karen Abbott; Jonathan Chase; Karin Frank; Stan Harpole; Janneke Hille Ris Lambers; Nathan Kraft; Andreas Huth; Stefan Kupers; Grigoris Kylafis; Sebastian Lehmann; Felix May; Margaret Mayfield; Ranjan Muthukrishnan; Juliano Sarmento Cabral; Sean Satterlee; Lauren Shoemaker; Lauren Sullivan; I Fang Sun; Franziska Taubert; Xugao Wang; Thorsten Wiegand

Meeting summary


Shoemaker, L.G., Sullivan, L.L., Donohue, I., Cabral, J.S., Williams, R.J., Mayfield, M.M., Chase, J.M., Chu, C., Harpole, W.S., Huth, A., HilleRisLambers, J., James, A.R.M., Kraft, N.J.B., May, F., Muthukrishnan, R., Satterlee, S., Taubert, F., Wang, X., Wiegand, T., Yang, Q. & Abbott, K.C. (2019) Integrating the underlying structure of stochasticity into community ecology. Ecology, (online early)

sNiche writing retreat, Cleveland, Ohio, USA


Karen Abbott; Lauren Shoemaker; Lauren Sullivan

Download meeting summary



Shoemaker, L et al. (2020) Integrating the underlying structure of stochasticity into community ecology. Ecology 101( 2):e02922. see here

Wiegand, T., Wang, X., Anderson-Teixeira, K.J. et al. (2021) Consequences of spatial patterns for coexistence in species-rich plant communities. Nat Ecol Evol 5, 965–973. see here

Share this site on:
iDiv is a research centre of theDFG Logo