Resolving discrepancies between deterministic population models and individual-based simulations.
This work ties together two distinct modeling frameworks for population dynamics: an individual-based simulation and a set of coupled integrodifferential equations involving population densities. The simulation model represents an idealized predator-prey system formulated at the scale of discrete individuals, explicitly incorporating their mutual interactions, whereas the population-level framework is a generalized version of reaction-diffusion models that incorporate population densities coupled to one another by interaction rates. Here I use various combinations of long-range dispersal for both the offspring and adult stages of both prey and predator species, providing a broad range of spatial and temporal dynamics, to compare and contrast the two model frameworks. Taking the individual-based modeling results as given, two examinations of the reaction-dispersal model are made: linear stability analysis of the deterministic equations and direct numerical solution of the model equations. I also modify the numerical solution in two ways to account for the stochastic nature of individual-based processes, which include independent, local perturbations in population density and a minimum population density within integration cells, below which the population is set to zero. These modifications introduce new parameters into the population-level model, which I adjust to reproduce the individual-based model results. The individual-based model is then modified to minimize the effects of stochasticity, producing a match of the predictions from the numerical integration of the population-level model without stochasticity.
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