A model for seagrass species competition: dynamics of the symmetric case

Moreno-Spiegelberg, Pablo; Gomila, Damià
Submitted (2023)

We propose a general population dynamics model for two seagrass species growing and interacting in two spatial dimensions. The model includes spatial terms accounting for the clonal growth characteristics of seagrasses, and coupling between species through the net mortality rate. We consider both intraspecies and interspecies facilitative and competitive interactions, allowing density-dependent interaction mechanisms. Here we study the case of very similar species with reciprocal interactions, which allows reducing the number of the model parameters to just four, and whose bifurcation structure can be considered the backbone of the complete system. We find that the parameter space can be divided into ten regions with qualitatively different bifurcation diagrams. These regimes can be further grouped into just five regimes with different ecological interpretations. Our analysis allows the classifying of all possible density distributions and dynamical behaviors of meadows with two coexisting species.

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