Discrete and continuous state population models in a noisy world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Simple ecological models operate mostly with population densities using continuous variables. However, in reality densities could not change continuously, since the population itself consists of integer numbers of individuals. At first sight this discrepancy appears to be irrelevant, nevertheless, it can cause large deviations between the actual statistical behaviour of biological populations and that predicted by the corresponding models. We investigate the conditions under which simple models, operating with continuous numbers of individuals can be used to approximate the dynamics of populations consisting of integer numbers of individuals. Based on our definition for the (statistical) distance between the two models we show that the continuous approach is acceptable as long as sufficiently high biological noise is present, or, the dynamical behaviour is regular (non-chaotic). The concepts are illustrated with the Ricker model and tested on the Tribolium castaneum data series (Henson et al., Science 294 (2001) 602.). Further, we demonstrate with the help of T. castaneum's model that if time series are not much larger than the possible population states (as in this practical case) the noisy discrete and continuous models can behave temporarily differently, almost independently of the noise level. In this case the noisy, discrete model is more accurate [OR has to be applied].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-545
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume227
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2004

Fingerprint

Population Model
Noise
Tribolium
Population
Population Dynamics
Population Density
Tribolium castaneum
Model
Ecological Model
Integer
Continuous Variables
Discrete Model
Large Deviations
Dynamical Behavior
Discrepancy
Time series
time series analysis
population density
population dynamics
Series

Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Discrete variable models
  • Lattice effect
  • Tribolium data series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Discrete and continuous state population models in a noisy world. / Domokos, G.; Scheuring, I.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 227, No. 4, 21.04.2004, p. 535-545.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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