Diffusion-Induced Instability in Model Ecosystems: Another Possible Explanation of Patchiness.
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV BALTIMORE MD CHESAPEAKE BAY INST
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As a diffusion process in an ecosystem tends to give rise to a uniform density of population in space, it may be expected that diffusion plays a general role of increasing the stability in a system of mixed populations and resources. However, diffusion may also induce an instability to a system which is basically stable without diffusion. Thus a system of two interacting and diffusing populations both being co-existent in a spatially uniform distribution, hence with no patterns, may exhibit an interaction-diffusion instability. The instability results in a form of biological waves in space and time, thus leading to a patchiness. Author