Graduation Year

2006

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Mathematics

Reader 1

Jon T. Jacobsen

Reader 2

Alfonso Castro

Abstract

We study the behavior of diffusive Lotka-Volterra systems in environments with spatially varying carrying capacities. In particular, we use numeric and analytic techniques to study two similar models for population growth, in order to determine their qualitative differences. Additionally, we investigate competition models in the presence of periodic disasters, in order to determine what factors affect competitive dominance. We found that under conditions of high spatial heterogeneity, the model for population growth was the main factor determining coexistence. Under low spatial heterogeneity, the effect of disturbance on the stronger competitor was the main factor determining coexistence.

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