We demonstrate that demographic noise can induce persistent spatial pattern formation and temporal oscillations in the Levin-Segel predator-prey model for plankton-herbivore population dynamics. Although the model exhibits a Turing instability in mean-field theory, demographic noise greatly enlarges the region of parameter space where pattern formation occurs. To distinguish between patterns generated by fluctuations and those present at the mean-field level in real ecosystems, we calculate the power spectrum in the noise-driven case and predict the presence of fat tails not present in the mean-field case. These results may account for the prevalence of large-scale ecological patterns, beyond that expected from traditional nonstochastic approaches.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Sep 15 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics