This paper studies population models which have the following three ingredients: populations are divided into local subpopulations, local population dynamics are nonlinear and random events occur locally in space. In this setting local stochastic phenomena have a systematic effect on average population density and this effect does not disappear in large populations. This result is an outcome of the interaction of the three ingredients in the models and it says that stochastic models of systems of patches can be expected to give results for average population density that differ systematically from those of deterministic models. The magnitude of these differences is related to the degree of nonlinearity of local dynamics and the magnitude of local variability. These results explain those obtained from a number of previously published models which give conclusions that differ from those of deterministic models. Results are also obtained that show how stochastic models of systems of patches may be simplified to facilitate their study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics