Transitional regimes as early warning signals in resource dependent competition models

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Mathematical Biosciences, 240 (2): 114-123 (2012)


In this paper a question of " how much overconsumption a renewable resource can tolerate" is addressed using a mathematical model, where individuals in a parametrically heterogeneous population not only compete for the common resource but can also contribute to its restoration. Through bifurcation analysis a threshold of system resistance to over-consumers (individuals that take more than they restore) was identified, as well as a series of transitional regimes that the population goes through before it exhausts the common resource and thus goes extinct itself, a phenomenon known as " the tragedy of the commons" It was also observed that (1) for some parameter domains a population can survive or go extinct depending on its initial conditions, (2) under the same set of initial conditions, a heterogeneous population survives longer than a homogeneous population and (3) when the natural decay rate of the common resource is high enough, the population can endure the presence of more aggressive over-consumers without going extinct. Â\copyright 2012.



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