Brucellosis, botflies, and brainworms: The impact of edge habitats on pathogen transmission and species extinction

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15 Scopus citations


Ecological interactions between species that prefer different habitat types but come into contact in edge regions at the interfaces between habitat types are modeled via reaction-diffusion systems. The primary sort of interaction described by the models is competition mediated by pathogen transmission. The models are somewhat novel because the spatial domains for the variables describing the population densities of the interacting species overlap but do not coincide. Conditions implying coexistence of the two species or the extinction of one species are derived. The conditions involve the principal eigenvalues of elliptic operators arising from linearizations of the model system around equilibria with only one species present. The conditions for persistence or extinction are made explicit in terms of the parameters of the system and the geometry of the underlying spatial domains via estimates of the principal eigenvalues. The implications of the models with respect to conservation and refuge design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-119
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2001


  • Extinction
  • Habitat edges
  • Lotka-Votterra
  • Pathogen mediated competition
  • Permanence
  • Persistence
  • Principal eigenvalues
  • Reaction-diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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