Dynamics of a generalized Ricker–Beverton–Holt competition model subject to Allee effects

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Abstract

In this article, we propose and study a generalized Ricker–Beverton–Holt competition model subject to Allee effects to obtain insights on how the interplay of Allee effects and contest competition affects the persistence and the extinction of two competing species. By using the theory of monotone dynamics and the properties of critical curves for non-invertible maps, our analysis show that our model has relatively simple dynamics, i.e. almost every trajectory converges to a locally asymptotically stable equilibrium if the intensity of intra-specific competition intensity exceeds that of inter-specific competition. This equilibrium dynamics is also possible when the intensity of intra-specific competition intensity is less than that of inter-specific competition but under conditions that the maximum intrinsic growth rate of one species is not too large. The coexistence of two competing species occurs only if the system has four interior equilibria. We provide an approximation to the basins of the boundary attractors (i.e. the extinction of one or both species) where our results suggests that contest species are more prone to extinction than scramble ones are at low densities. In addition, in comparison to the dynamics of two species scramble competition models subject to Allee effects, our study suggests that (i) Both contest and scramble competition models can have only three boundary attractors without the coexistence equilibria, or four attractors among which only one is the persistent attractor, whereas scramble competition models may have the extinction of both species as its only attractor under certain conditions, i.e. the essential extinction of two species due to strong Allee effects; (ii) Scramble competition models like Ricker type models can have much more complicated dynamical structure of interior attractors than contest ones like Beverton–Holt type models have; and (iii) Scramble competition models like Ricker type competition models may be more likely to promote the coexistence of two species at low and high densities under certain conditions: At low densities, weak Allee effects decrease the fitness of resident species so that the other species is able to invade at its low densities; While at high densities, scramble competition can bring the current high population density to a lower population density but is above the Allee threshold in the next season, which may rescue a species that has essential extinction caused by strong Allee effects. Our results may have potential to be useful for conservation biology: For example, if one endangered species is facing essential extinction due to strong Allee effects, then we may rescue this species by bringing another competing species subject to scramble competition and Allee effects under certain conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Difference Equations and Applications
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 22 2016

Fingerprint

Allee Effect
Competition Model
Extinction
Attractor
Competing Species
Coexistence
Interior
Noninvertible Maps
Critical Curves
Asymptotically Stable
Persistence
Fitness
Biology
Conservation
Monotone
Exceed

Keywords

  • Allee effects
  • basins of attractions
  • coexistence
  • contest competition models
  • extinction
  • scramble competition models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Analysis

Cite this

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abstract = "In this article, we propose and study a generalized Ricker–Beverton–Holt competition model subject to Allee effects to obtain insights on how the interplay of Allee effects and contest competition affects the persistence and the extinction of two competing species. By using the theory of monotone dynamics and the properties of critical curves for non-invertible maps, our analysis show that our model has relatively simple dynamics, i.e. almost every trajectory converges to a locally asymptotically stable equilibrium if the intensity of intra-specific competition intensity exceeds that of inter-specific competition. This equilibrium dynamics is also possible when the intensity of intra-specific competition intensity is less than that of inter-specific competition but under conditions that the maximum intrinsic growth rate of one species is not too large. The coexistence of two competing species occurs only if the system has four interior equilibria. We provide an approximation to the basins of the boundary attractors (i.e. the extinction of one or both species) where our results suggests that contest species are more prone to extinction than scramble ones are at low densities. In addition, in comparison to the dynamics of two species scramble competition models subject to Allee effects, our study suggests that (i) Both contest and scramble competition models can have only three boundary attractors without the coexistence equilibria, or four attractors among which only one is the persistent attractor, whereas scramble competition models may have the extinction of both species as its only attractor under certain conditions, i.e. the essential extinction of two species due to strong Allee effects; (ii) Scramble competition models like Ricker type models can have much more complicated dynamical structure of interior attractors than contest ones like Beverton–Holt type models have; and (iii) Scramble competition models like Ricker type competition models may be more likely to promote the coexistence of two species at low and high densities under certain conditions: At low densities, weak Allee effects decrease the fitness of resident species so that the other species is able to invade at its low densities; While at high densities, scramble competition can bring the current high population density to a lower population density but is above the Allee threshold in the next season, which may rescue a species that has essential extinction caused by strong Allee effects. Our results may have potential to be useful for conservation biology: For example, if one endangered species is facing essential extinction due to strong Allee effects, then we may rescue this species by bringing another competing species subject to scramble competition and Allee effects under certain conditions.",
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