Effects of growth curve plasticity on size-structured population dynamics

Lai Zhang, Zhigui Lin, Michael Pedersen

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    The physiological-structured population models assume that a fixed fraction of energy intake is utilized for individual growth and maintenance while the remaining for adult fertility. The assumption results in two concerns: energy loss for juveniles and a reproduction dilemma for adults. The dilemma results from the possibility that adults have to breed even if metabolic costs fail to be covered.We consider a size-structured population model, where standard metabolism is given top priority for utilizing energy intake and the surplus energy, if there is any, is distributed to individual growth and reproduction. Moreover, the portion of surplus energy for reproduction is size-dependent and increases monotonically with size. Using the newly developed parameter continuation, we demonstrate their disparate effects on population dynamics. Results show that the size-dependent mechanism of energy allocation primarily exerts destabilizing effects on the system but considerably promotes species coexistence, in comparison with the size-independent mechanism. We conclude that the size-dependent mechanism is, to a large extent, a dispensable component of model ingredients when ontogeny is explicitly taken into consideration.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
    Pages (from-to)327-345
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Life history
    • Parameter continuation
    • Characteristic equation
    • Dynamic energy budget theory
    • Size structure


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