Dynamics of populations with individual variation in dispersal on bounded domains

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11 Scopus citations


Most classical models for the movement of organisms assume that all individuals have the same patterns and rates of movement (for example, diffusion with a fixed diffusion coefficient) but there is empirical evidence that movement rates and patterns may vary among different individuals. A simple way to capture variation in dispersal that has been suggested in the ecological literature is to allow individuals to switch between two distinct dispersal modes. We study models for populations whose members can switch between two different nonzero rates of diffusion and whose local population dynamics are subject to density dependence of logistic type. The resulting models are reaction–diffusion systems that can be cooperative at some population densities and competitive at others. We assume that the focal population inhabits a bounded region and study how its overall dynamics depend on the parameters describing switching rates and local population dynamics. (Traveling waves and spread rates have been studied for similar models in the context of biological invasions.) The analytic methods include ideas and results from reaction–diffusion theory, semi-dynamical systems, and bifurcation/continuation theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-317
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of biological dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Individual variation in dispersal
  • Population dynamics
  • Reaction-Diffusion
  • Spatial ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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