Landscape-induced spatial oscillations in population dynamics

Dornelas, Vivian; Colombo, Eduardo H.; López, Cristóbal; Hernández-García, Emilio; Anteneodo, Celia
Scientific Reports 11, 3470 (1-11) (2021)

We study the effect that disturbances in the ecological landscape exert on the spatial distribution of a population that evolves according to the nonlocal FKPP equation. Using both numerical and analytical techniques, we explore the three types of stationary profiles that can develop near abrupt spatial variations in the environmental conditions vital for population growth: sustained oscillations, decaying oscillations and exponential relaxation towards a flat profile. We relate the wavelength and decay length of the wrinkles to the shape of the interaction kernel. Since these spatial structures encode details about the interaction among individuals, we discuss how heterogeneities reveal information that would be hidden in a flat landscape.

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