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Talk Abstract
Spatial Dynamics and Persistence in a Model Tri-trophic System

Stephen P. Ellner
Biomathematics Graduate Program
Department of Statistics
North Carolina State University

Joint work with the NCEAS Working Group on Complex Population Dynamics.

We consider population persistence and spatiotemporal dynamics in a tri-trophic system (plant, herbivore, predator). With individual plants arrayed in a single finite lattice in the plane, we obtain large oscillations leading to eventual extinction via demographic stochasticity. Subdivision into a "metapopulation" of habitat patches allows persistence with long-term transients in the dynamics. Our main goal is to identify specific mechanisms responsible for persistence in the subdivided habitat, and determine which "irrelevant details" can be discarded.

This work is being conducted as part of the NCEAS Working Group on Complex Population dynamics, and is a collaboration among all group members (Cherie Briggs, SPE, Parveiz Hosseini, Bruce Kendall, Ed McCauley, William Murdoch, Roger Nisbet, Peter Turchin, Simon Wood). This talk will be a progress report, with a lot of loose ends remaining.

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1998-1999 Mathematics in Biology