David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 51 (3) (2003)
The dynamics of single populations up to ecosystems, are often described by one or a set of non-linear ordinary differential equations. In this paper we review the use of bifurcation theory to analyse these non-linear dynamical systems. Bifurcation analysis gives regimes in the parameter space with quantitatively different asymptotic dynamic behaviour of the system. In small-scale systems the underlying models for the populations and their interaction are simple Lotka-Volterra models or more elaborated models with more biological detail. The latter ones are more difficult to analyse, especially when the number of populations is large. Therefore for large-scale systems the Lotka-Volterra equations are still popular despite the limited realism. Various approaches are discussed in which the different time-scale of ecological and evolutionary biological processes are considered together.
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