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Effects of uniform rotational flow on predator–prey system

  • Lee, Sang-Hee
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    Rotational flow is often observed in lotic ecosystems, such as streams and rivers. For example, when an obstacle interrupts water flowing in a stream, energy dissipation and momentum transfer can result in the formation of rotational flow, or a vortex. In this study, I examined how rotational flow affects a predator–prey system by constructing a spatially explicit lattice model consisting of predators, prey, and plants. A predation relationship existed between the species. The species densities in the model were given as S (for predator), P (for prey), and G (for plant). A predator (prey) had a probability of giving birth to an offspring when it ate prey (plant). When a predator or prey was first introduced, or born, its health state was assigned an initial value of 20 that subsequently decreased by one with every time step. The predator (prey) was removed from the system when the health state decreased to less than zero. The degree of flow rotation was characterized by the variable, R. A higher R indicates a higher tendency that predators and prey move along circular paths. Plants were not affected by the flow because they were assumed to be attached to the streambed. Results showed that R positively affected both predator and prey survival, while its effect on plants was negligible. Flow rotation facilitated disturbances in individuals’ movements, which consequently strengthens the predator and prey relationship and prevents death from starvation. An increase in S accelerated the extinction of predators and prey.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

    Volume (Year): 391 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 23 ()
    Pages: 6008-6015

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:391:y:2012:i:23:p:6008-6015
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