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Assessing the Impacts of Competition and Dispersal on a Multiple Interactions Type Model

Murtala Bello Aliyu, Mohd Hafiz Mohd and Mohd Salmi Md. Noorani

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 3, July 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjst.29.3.04

Keywords: Hopf bifurcation, limit cycle, limit point bifurcation, period-doubling bifurcation, stability, transcritical bifurcation

Published on: 31 July 2021

Multiple interactions (e.g., mutualist-resource-competitor-exploiter interactions) type models are known to exhibit oscillatory behaviour as a result of their complexity. This large-amplitude oscillation often de-stabilises multispecies communities and increases the chances of species extinction. What mechanisms help species in a complex ecological system to persist? Some studies show that dispersal can stabilise an ecological community and permit multi-species coexistence. However, previous empirical and theoretical studies often focused on one- or two-species systems, and in real life, we have more than two-species coexisting together in nature. Here, we employ a (four-species) multiple interactions type model to investigate how competition interacts with other biotic factors and dispersal to shape multi-species communities. Our results reveal that dispersal has (de-)stabilising effects on the formation of multi-species communities, and this phenomenon shapes coexistence mechanisms of interacting species. These contrasting effects of dispersal can best be illustrated through its combined influences with the competition. To do this, we employ numerical simulation and bifurcation analysis techniques to track the stable and unstable attractors of the system. Results show the presence of Hopf bifurcations, transcritical bifurcations, period-doubling bifurcations and limit point bifurcations of cycles as we vary the competitive strength in the system. Furthermore, our bifurcation analysis findings show that stable coexistence of multiple species is possible for some threshold values of ecologically-relevant parameters in this complex system. Overall, we discover that the stability and coexistence mechanisms of multiple species depend greatly on the interplay between competition, other biotic components and dispersal in multi-species ecological systems.

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