Effects of local interaction range and mobility on the spatio-temporal dynamics of competing animals in uniform habitats

Ezer Miller*, Moshe Coll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Reduction of oscillations in population size is of fundamental importance to both theoretical and applied ecology. Spatial variability in population rates among different habitat regions is known to be an important mechanism that inhibits oscillations in population size. In the current study we used an individual-based model to simulate a single population of animals whose individual members are sensitive to competition only within their vicinity (i.e., within their competition neighborhood, CN). Our model extends previous studies by exploring how local interactions reduce population oscillations in competitive systems of animals, rather than in systems of plants. Our simulations explored the effects of animal mobility and interaction range separately on population dynamics. In our model, a decrease in CN dimensions tended to reduce population oscillations at all tested animal movement speeds. Yet, movement speed affected animal distribution patterns; an increase in movement speed led to more random distributions. We also found that mean population size was affected more by CN dimensions at lower mobility levels than when it was high.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalPopulation Ecology
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Competition
  • Ideal free distribution
  • Individual-based model
  • Neighborhood models
  • Population oscillations
  • Spatial distribution

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