The mystery of biodiversity – how thousands of similar species can coexist in a single ecosystem – might best be understood as the result of a game theory, a new study has revealed. According to classical ecology, when two species compete for the same resource, eventually the more successful species will win out while the other will go extinct. But that rule cannot explain systems such as the Amazon, where thousands of tree species occupy similar ecological niches. A mathematical model based on game-theory explains the potential for limitless biodiversity and suggests surprising new ecological rules.
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