Superdiffusivity due to resource depletion in random searches

Research paper by Juliana M. Berbert, Mark A. Lewis

Indexed on: 14 Apr '18Published on: 13 Dec '17Published in: Ecological Complexity


Publication date: January 2018 Source:Ecological Complexity, Volume 33 Author(s): Juliana M. Berbert, Mark A. Lewis Animal search patterns are governed by the various movement strategies undertaken when animals encounter stimuli. The stimuli caused by resource growth and depletion can modify search patterns due to the need to finding resources. In this paper, we investigate the influence of resource depletion on the dynamics of dispersal of a population which is related to diffusion or anomalous diffusion. Our approach is to develop a population level model using partial differential equations that takes into account rules for movement based on the resource levels. Through numerical analysis, we show that the population dispersal patterns depend on the resource depletion, with superdiffusive spread in cases where the depletion rate (as given by high consumption and low replenishment) is high. This has the potential to increase searching efficiency. Graphical abstract