Scientific Papers

Resource-Driven Pattern Formation in Consumer-Resource Systems with Asymmetric Dispersal on a Plane

SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Ahead of Print.
Abstract. This paper considers resource-driven pattern formation in consumer-resource systems. Here, a planar pattern consists of many big patches, and a big patch can be regarded as combination of many patches on the plane. The consumer moves between patches asymmetrically, while the asymmetry is driven by the resource abundance. Based on experimental models with linearly-linked patches, we propose a planarly-linked-patch model with asymmetric dispersal. Using dynamical systems theory, we show global stability of equilibria in the model, and demonstrate how the resource-driven dispersal forms patterns. It is shown that appropriate asymmetry in dispersal would make the consumer persist in the system, even in sink patches. The asymmetry could also make the consumer’s total population abundance larger than that without dispersal. However, inappropriate asymmetry would make the consumer go into extinction, even in source patches. Dispersal rates are also shown to play a role in the persistence and abundance increase. Our results are consistent with experimental observations and provide new insights. Numerical simulations by the model reproduce various vegetation patterns in the real world. This work has potential applications in spatial pattern formation in biological research.

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