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Seasonal influences on population spread and persistence in streams: spreading speeds.

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  • The drift paradox asks how stream-dwelling organisms can persist, without being washed out, when they are continuously subject to the unidirectional stream flow. To date, mathematical analyses of the stream paradox have investigated the interplay of growth, drift and flow needed for species persistence under the assumption that the stream environment is temporally constant. However, in reality, streams are subject to major seasonal variations in environmental factors that govern population growth and dispersal. We consider the influence of such seasonal variations on the drift paradox, using a time-periodic integrodifferential equation model. We establish upstream and downstream spreading speeds under the assumption of periodically fluctuating environments, and also show the existence of periodic traveling waves. The sign of the upstream spreading speed then determines persistence. Fluctuating environments are characterized by seasonal correlations between the flow, transfer rates, diffusion and settling rates, and we investigate the effect of such correlations on the population spread and persistence. We also show how results in this paper can formally connect to those for autonomous integrodifferential equations, through the appropriate weighted averaging methods. Finally, for a specific dispersal function, we show that the upstream spreading speed is nonnegative if and only if the critical domain size exists in this temporally fluctuating environment.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2011 Springer. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Jin, Y., & Lewis, M. A. (2011). Seasonal influences on population spread and persistence in streams: spreading speeds. Journal of Mathematical Biology. DOI:10.1007/s00285-011-0465-x.