Microbial ecosystems are remarkably diverse, stable, and usually consist of a mixture of core and peripheral species. Here we propose a conceptual model exhibiting all these emergent properties in quantitative agreement with real ecosystem data, specifically species abundance and prevalence distributions. Resource competition and metabolic commensalism drive the stochastic ecosystem assembly in our model. We demonstrate that even when supplied with just one resource, ecosystems can exhibit high diversity, increasing stability, and partial reproducibility between samples.
Goyal, A., & Maslov, S. (2018). Diversity, Stability, and Reproducibility in Stochastically Assembled Microbial Ecosystems. Physical Review Letters, 120(15). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.158102