Spatial Structures in a Simple Model of Population Dynamics for Parasite-Host Interactions

Jiajia Dong, Bucknell University
B. Skinner
N. Breecher
B. Schmittmann
R.K.P. Zia

Abstract

Spatial patterning can be crucially important for understanding the behavior of interacting populations. Here we investigate a simple model of parasite and host populations in which parasites are random walkers that must come into contact with a host in order to reproduce. We focus on the spatial arrangement of parasites around a single host, and we derive using analytics and numerical simulations the necessary conditions placed on the parasite fecundity and lifetime for the populations long-term survival. We also show that the parasite population can be pushed to extinction by a large drift velocity, but, counterintuitively, a small drift velocity generally increases the parasite population. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2015