Population-dynamic instability as a cause of patch structure

Brian J. Rothschild, Jerald S. Ault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Understanding how ocean ecosystem dynamics are driven by the coupling of trophodynamic interactions and physical factors and how these affect recruitment is one of the critical problems in biological oceanography. This paper attempts to contribute insights into these interactions by defining a population-dynamic/physical-forcing space in which it may be possible to begin unification of historical work on trophic webs, functional responses, and patch structure. We use more or less traditional reaction-diffusion equations to facilitate exploration of prey-predator relative motion effects on spatial distributions. As a particular example, reparameterization of a nondimensionalized version of the model applied to two kinds of trophodynamic interactions allows concentration upon the role of diffusion-driven instability in generating spatial patch structures of prey and predator abundance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 16 1996


  • Diffusive instability
  • Patch structure
  • Population dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Ecology


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