Next Article in Journal
Global Dynamics of Certain Mix Monotone Difference Equation
Next Article in Special Issue
Role of Bi-Directional Migration in Two Similar Types of Ecosystems
Previous Article in Journal
A Note on the Equivalence of Fractional Relaxation Equations to Differential Equations with Varying Coefficients
Previous Article in Special Issue
Impact of Parameter Variability and Environmental Noise on the Klausmeier Model of Vegetation Pattern Formation
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Mathematics 2018, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/math6010009

The Collapse of Ecosystem Engineer Populations

Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 369, 13560-970 São Carlos SP, Brazil
Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 18 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Mathematical Ecology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [790 KB, uploaded 12 January 2018]   |  

Abstract

Humans are the ultimate ecosystem engineers who have profoundly transformed the world’s landscapes in order to enhance their survival. Somewhat paradoxically, however, sometimes the unforeseen effect of this ecosystem engineering is the very collapse of the population it intended to protect. Here we use a spatial version of a standard population dynamics model of ecosystem engineers to study the colonization of unexplored virgin territories by a small settlement of engineers. We find that during the expansion phase the population density reaches values much higher than those the environment can support in the equilibrium situation. When the colonization front reaches the boundary of the available space, the population density plunges sharply and attains its equilibrium value. The collapse takes place without warning and happens just after the population reaches its peak number. We conclude that overpopulation and the consequent collapse of an expanding population of ecosystem engineers is a natural consequence of the nonlinear feedback between the population and environment variables. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem engineering; colonization wavefront; cliodynamics; coupled map lattice ecosystem engineering; colonization wavefront; cliodynamics; coupled map lattice
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Fontanari, J.F. The Collapse of Ecosystem Engineer Populations. Mathematics 2018, 6, 9.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Mathematics EISSN 2227-7390 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top