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A network metric called the K-core could predict structural collapse in mutualistic ecosystems, according to research by physicists at The City College of New York. The K-core appears able to forecast which species is likely to face extinction first, by global shocks such as climate change, and when an ecosystem could collapse due to external forces.
Led by Flaviano Morone and Hernán A. Makse, the physicists from CCNY's Division of Science used state of the art network theory to predict the tipping point of an ecosystem under severe external shocks like a global increase of temperature. They determined that a network metric termed the K-core of the network can predict the terrifying tipping point of climate Armageddon.
Idea - Applies - Species - Ecosystems - Plant-pollinators
The idea applies to any network—from species interacting in ecosystems, like plant-pollinators or predator-prey—to financial markets where brokers interact in a financial network to determine the prices of stocks and products.
In all these networks a hierarchical structure emerges: each species in the ecosystem belong to a given shell in the network: the so called K-shells. In the periphery of...
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