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Chaotic population dynamics and biology of the top-predator. (English) Zbl 1057.92056
Summary: We study how the dynamics of a food chain depends on the biology of the top-predator. We consider two model food chains with specialist and generalist top-predators. Both types of food chains display the same type of chaotic behavior, short-term recurrent chaos; but the generating mechanisms are drastically different. Food chains with specialist top-predators are dictated by exogenous stochastic factors. On the contrary, the dynamics of those with the generalist top-predator is governed by deterministic changes in system parameters. The study also suggests that robust chaos would be a rarity.

MSC:
92D40 Ecology
37N25 Dynamical systems in biology
Software:
Dynamics
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