Global production increased by spatial heterogeneity in a population dynamics model

Acta Biotheoretica 53 (4):359-370 (2005)
Spatial and temporal heterogeneity are often described as important factors having a strong impact on biodiversity. The effect of heterogeneity is in most cases analyzed by the response of biotic interactions such as competition of predation. It may also modify intrinsic population properties such as growth rate. Most of the studies are theoretic since it is often difficult to manipulate spatial heterogeneity in practice. Despite the large number of studies dealing with this topics, it is still difficult to understand how the heterogeneity affects populations dynamics. On the basis of a very simple model, this paper aims to explicitly provide a simple mechanism which can explain why spatial heterogeneity may be a favorable factor for production. We consider a two patch model and a logistic growth is assumed on each patch. A general condition on the migration rates and the local subpopulation growth rates is provided under which the total carrying capacity is higher than the sum of the local carrying capacities, which is not intuitive. As we illustrate, this result is robust under stochastic perturbations.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10441-005-4890-3
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