Emergent features due to grid-cell biology: synchronisation in biophysical models

Guirey, E.J., Bees, M.A., Martin, A.P., Srokosz, M.A. and Fasham, M.J.R. (2007) Emergent features due to grid-cell biology: synchronisation in biophysical models. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 69(4), pp. 1401-1422. (doi: 10.1007/s11538-006-9180-y)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11538-006-9180-y


Modelling studies of upper ocean phenomena, such as that of the spatial and temporal patchiness in plankton distributions, typically employ coupled biophysical models, with biology in each grid-cell represented by a plankton ecosystem model. It has not generally been considered what impact the choice of grid-cell ecosystem model, from the many developed in the literature, might have upon the results of such a study. We use the methods of synchronisation theory, which is concerned with ensembles of interacting oscillators, to address this question, considering the simplest possible case of a chain of identically represented interacting plankton grid-cells. It is shown that the ability of the system to exhibit stably homogeneous (fully synchronised) dynamics depends crucially upon the choice of biological model and number of grid-cells, with dynamics changing dramatically at a threshold strength of mixing between grid-cells. Consequently, for modelling studies of the ocean the resolution chosen, and therefore number of grid-cells used, could drastically alter the emergent features of the model. It is shown that chaotic ecosystem dynamics, in particular, should be used with care.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bees, Dr Martin
Authors: Guirey, E.J., Bees, M.A., Martin, A.P., Srokosz, M.A., and Fasham, M.J.R.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
ISSN (Online):1522-9602
Published Online:15 March 2007

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