neutral models

The neutral bomb

This is not a sex bomb, but who knows. A couple of weeks ago I was giving a talk at the Escuela Argentina de Matemática y Biología about neutral and non-neutral models in ecology. I was pointed to the paper of Clark 2012 The coherence problem with the Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity with the commentary: the neutral theory is uninformative. And the paper basically says that neutral models or neutral theory is based on ignorance and that they are incoherent.

Come together

Aggregation of objects is widespread phenomena in several sciences and of course in biology and ecology. Two cases I found and seem interesting to me are: the aggregation in niche space: The clumping transition in niche competition, and the aggregation in neutral models: Clustering in neutral ecology.\ This seems to depend only on the discreteness and finiteness of the objects and space. And in both cases the clumps have sizes distributed as power laws.