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Travelling wave dynamics and self-organization in a spatio-temporally structured population

Authors

  • Kaitala,

    1. University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, BOX 35, FIN-40351 Jyväskylä, Finland and Integrative Ecology Unit, Division of Population Biology, Department of Ecology and Systematics, PO Box 17 (Arkadiankatu 7), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.,
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  • Ranta

    1. Integrative Ecology Unit, Division of Population Biology, Department of Ecology and Systematics, PO Box 17 (Arkadiankatu 7), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
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VeijoKaitala E-mail: vkaitala@cc.jyu.fi

Abstract

We analyse spatial population dynamics showing that periodic or period-like chaotic dynamics produce self-organization structures, such as travelling waves. We suggest that self-organized patterns are associated with spatial synchrony patterns that often depend on geographical distance between subpopulations. The population dynamics also show statistical spatial autocorrelation patterns. We contrast our theoretical simulations with empirical data on annual damages in young sapling stands caused by voles. We conclude, on the basis of the periodicity, synchrony, and spatial autocorrelation patterns, and our simulation results, that vole dynamics represent travelling waves in population dynamics. We suggest that because such synchrony patterns are frequently observed in natural populations, spatial self-organization may be more common in population dynamics than reported in the literature.

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