Home/Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis

The intermediate disturbance hypothesis(IDH) is a non-equilibrium model used to describe the relationship between disturbances and species diversity within an ecosystem where diversity is correlated to the system’s long-term resilience. IDH posits that local species diversity is maximized when ecological disturbance is neither too rare nor too frequent. At high levels of disturbance, due to, for example, frequent forest fires or human impact, all species are at risk of going extinct. At low levels of disturbance, competitive exclusion increases leading to a decrease in species diversity. Thus, at intermediate levels of disturbance, diversity is maximized.