Transient phenomena and rare events in complex systems: New Research Project at Jacobs University Bremen
From ecological systems it is known that events like the extinction of an entire population can come as a surprise, so that countermeasures are late. These phenomena call for explanations, in order to create a deeper understanding of their causes. What are the conditions for maintaining biodiversity as a stable state if even a relatively small fluctuation in the population size can suddenly shift the whole system into another dynamical regime, in which, for example, the diversity is drastically reduced? Fluctuations that have such a drastic effect are rare, but not too rare to actually occur.