Spatiotemporal Mutualistic Model of Mistletoes and Birds

Rongsong Liu
Mathematics, University of Wyoming

(January 31, 2012 10:30 AM - 11:20 AM)

Spatiotemporal Mutualistic Model of Mistletoes and Birds

Abstract

A mathematical model which incorporates the spatial dispersal and interaction dynamics of mistletoes and birds is derived and studied to gain insights of the spatial heterogeneity in abundance of mistletoes. Fickian diffusion and chemotaxis are used to model the random movement of birds and the aggregation of birds due to the attraction of mistletoes respectively. The spread of mistletoes by birds is expressed by a convolution integral with a dispersal kernel. Two different types of kernel functions are used to study the model, one is Dirac delta function which reflects one extreme case that the spread behavior is local, and the other one is a general non-negative symmetric function which describes the nonlocal spread of mistletoes. When the kernel function is taken as the Dirac delta function, the threshold condition for the existence of mistletoes is given and explored in term of parameters. For the general non-negative symmetric kernel case, we prove the existence and stability of non-constant equilibrium solutions. Numerical simulations are conducted by taking specific forms of kernel functions. Our study shows that the spatial heterogeneous patterns of the mistletoes are related to the specific dispersal pattern of the birds which carry mistletoe seeds.