EPL 102 (2013) 28012. doi:10.1209/0295-5075/102/28012

When does cyclic dominance lead to stable spiral waves?

Bartosz Szczesny, Mauro Mobilia and Alastair M. Rucklidge

Department of Applied Mathematics,
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Abstract. Species diversity in ecosystems is often accompanied by characteristic spatio-temporal patterns. Here, we consider a generic two-dimensional population model and study the spiraling patterns arising from the combined effects of cyclic dominance of three species, mutation, pair-exchange and individual hopping. The dynamics is characterized by nonlinear mobility and a Hopf bifurcation around which the system's four-phase state diagram is inferred from a complex Ginzburg-Landau equation derived using a perturbative multiscale expansion. While the dynamics is generally characterized by spiraling patterns, we show that spiral waves are stable in only one of the four phases. Furthermore, we characterize a phase where nonlinearity leads to the annihilation of spirals and to the spatially uniform dominance of each species in turn. Away from the Hopf bifurcation, when the coexistence fixed point is unstable, the spiraling patterns are also affected by the nonlinear diffusion.

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