Continuous Population Models
In this chapter we look at a population in which all individuals develop independently of one another while living in an unrestricted environment where no form of competition is possible. If the initial population size is small then a stochastic model is more appropriate, since the likelihood that the population becomes extinct due to chance must be considered. Deterministic models often provide useful ways of gaining sufficient understanding about the dynamics of populations whenever they are large enough. Furthermore, perturbations to large populations at equilibrium often generate over short time scales independent individual responses, which may be appropriately modeled by deterministic models. For example, the introduction of a single infected individual into a large disease-free population leads to the generation of secondary cases of infection, propagating a disease. The environment is free of interference competition, at least at the beginning of the outbreak, when a large population of susceptibles provides a virtually unlimited supply of hosts. The spread of disease in a large population of susceptibles may be thought of as an invasion process generated by independent contacts between a huge pool of susceptibles and a few infectious individuals.
KeywordsPopulation Size Logistic Model Logistic Equation Bifurcation Curve Intrinsic Growth Rate
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