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Title: Are time delays always destabilizing? Revisiting the role of time delays and the Allee effect
Authors: Jankovic, Masha
Petrovskii, Sergei
First Published: 1-Nov-2014
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Citation: Theoretical Ecology, 2014, 7 (4), pp. 335-349 (15)
Abstract: One of the main challenges in ecology is to determine the cause of population fluctuations. Both theoretical and empirical studies suggest that delayed density dependence instigates cyclic behavior in many populations; however, underlying mechanisms through which this occurs are often difficult to determine and may vary within species. In this paper, we consider single species population dynamics affected by the Allee effect coupled with discrete time delay. We use two different mathematical formulations of the Allee effect and analyze (both analytically and numerically) the role of time delay in different feedback mechanisms such as competition and cooperation. The bifurcation value of the delay (that results in the Hopf bifurcation) as a function of the strength of the Allee effect is obtained analytically. Interestingly, depending on the chosen delayed mechanism, even a large time delay may not necessarily lead to instability. We also show that, in case the time delay affects positive feedback (such as cooperation), the population dynamics can lead to self-organized formation of intermediate quasi-stationary states. Finally, we discuss ecological implications of our findings.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s12080-014-0222-z
ISSN: 1874-1738
eISSN: 1874-1746
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. The final publication is available at Springer via
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Mathematics

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