5 years ago

Ecological monitoring in a discrete-time prey–predator model

The paper is aimed at the methodological development of ecological monitoring in discrete-time dynamic models. In earlier papers, in the framework of continuous-time models, we have shown how a systems-theoretical methodology can be applied to the monitoring of the state process of a system of interacting populations, also estimating certain abiotic environmental changes such as pollution, climatic or seasonal changes. In practice, however, there may be good reasons to use discrete-time models. (For instance, there may be discrete cycles in the development of the populations, or observations can be made only at discrete time steps.) Therefore the present paper is devoted to the development of the monitoring methodology in the framework of discrete-time models of population ecology. By monitoring we mean that, observing only certain component(s) of the system, we reconstruct the whole state process. This may be necessary, e.g., when in a complex ecosystem the observation of the densities of certain species is impossible, or too expensive. For the first presentation of the offered methodology, we have chosen a discrete-time version of the classical Lotka–Volterra prey–predator model. This is a minimal but not trivial system where the methodology can still be presented. We also show how this methodology can be applied to estimate the effect of an abiotic environmental change, using a component of the population system as an environmental indicator. Although this approach is illustrated in a simplest possible case, it can be easily extended to larger ecosystems with several interacting populations and different types of abiotic environmental effects.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022519317303028

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