Dynamical mechanism for coexistence of dispersing species

Mary Ann Harrison, Ying-Cheng Lai, Robert D. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Dispersal of organisms may play an essential role in the coexistence of species. Recent studies of the evolution of dispersal in temporally varying environments suggest that clones differing in dispersal rates can coexist indefinitely. In this work, we explore the mechanism permitting such coexistence for a model of dispersal in a patchy environment, where temporal heterogeneity arises from endogenous chaotic dynamics. We show that coexistence arises from an extreme type of intermittent behavior, namely the phenomenon known as o.-o. intermittency. In effect, coexistence arises because of an alternation between synchronized and de-synchronized dynamical behaviors. Our analysis of the dynamical mechanism for on-off intermittency lends strong credence to the proposition that chaotic synchronism may be a general feature of species coexistence, where competing species differ only in dispersal rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 7 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamical mechanism for coexistence of dispersing species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this