OLM 10.1. Discrete and continuous niche: the formal problem
Resource types can be discrete categories (like “phosphate” and “silicate”, or seed categories of three different hardnesses) or they may constitute a continuum of qualities (like a continuum of seed hardness). In TBox 10.1 we explained that the two cases are not fundamentally different from biological point of view. Still, the mathematical descriptions of the two cases appear to be very different. The concentrations of the finitely many resource types play the role of regulating variables in the discrete case. However, the continuous case corresponds to infinitely many regulating variables, which sounds quite mystical. What does it mean?