Wavefronts and global stability in a time-delayed population model with stage structure

Stephen A. Gourley, Yang Kuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


We formulate and study a one-dimensional single-species diffusive-delay population model. The time delay is the time taken from birth to maturity. Without diffusion, the delay differential model extends the well-known logistic differential equation by allowing delayed constant birth processes and instantaneous quadratically regulated death processes. This delayed model is known to have simple global dynamics similar to that of the logistic equation. Through the use of a sub/supersolution pair method, we show that the diffusive delay model continues to generate simple global dynamics. This has the important biological implication that quadratically regulated death processes dramatically simplify the growth dynamics. We also consider the possibility of travelling wavefront solutions of the scalar equation for the mature population, connecting the zero solution of that equation with the positive steady state. Our main finding here is that our fronts appear to be all monotone, regardless of the size of the delay. This is in sharp contrast to the frequently reported findings that delay causes a loss of monotonicity, with the front developing a prominent hump in some other delay models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1579
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2034
StatePublished - Jun 8 2003


  • Characteristic equation
  • Diffusive-delay differential equation
  • Population model
  • Stage structure
  • Wavefront

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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