chapter  12
38 Pages

Patchy invasion

In the previous few chapters, we have demonstrated that self-organized patchiness uncorrelated with the environment is an inherent property of spatiotemporal population dynamics. Scenarios of pattern formation as well as the properties of the emerging heterogeneous population distribution can be rather different, though. In a system of nonlinearly interacting populations with unequal diffusivities, the Turing instability can destabilize a locally stable coexistence state and lead to the formation of a stationary, regular, spatially periodic structure. Conversely, destabilization of a population system with locally oscillatory kinetics normally results, even in the case of equal diffusion coefficients, in spatiotemporal chaos (“biological turbulence”), i.e., a spatially irregular patchy structure with the population densities fluctuating in time chaotically.