Complex ecological models with simple dynamics: From individuals to populations

Acta Biotheoretica 42 (2-3):111-136 (1994)
The aim of this work is to study complex ecological models exhibiting simple dynamics. We consider large scale systems which can be decomposed into weakly coupled subsystems. Perturbation Theory is used in order to get a reduced set of differential equations governing slow time varying global variables. As examples, we study the influence of the individual behaviour of animals in competition and predator-prey models. The animals are assumed to do many activities all day long such as searching for food of different types. The degree of competition as well as the predation pressure are dependent upon these activities. Preys are more vulnerable when doing some activities during which they are very exposed to predators attacks rather than for others during which they are hidden. We study the effect of a change in the average individual behaviour of the animals on interspecific relationships. Computer simulations of the whole sets of equations are compared to simulations of the reduced sets of equations.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00709485
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