Royal Society Publishing

Bifurcations and chaos in a predator-prey system with the Allee effect

Andrew Morozov, Sergei Petrovskii, Bai–Lian Li


It is known from many theoretical studies that ecological chaos may have numerous significant impacts on the population and community dynamics. Therefore, identification of the factors potentially enhancing or suppressing chaos is a challenging problem. In this paper, we show that chaos can be enhanced by the Allee effect. More specifically, we show by means of computer simulations that in a time–continuous predator–prey system with the Allee effect the temporal population oscillations can become chaotic even when the spatial distribution of the species remains regular. By contrast, in a similar system without the Allee effect, regular species distribution corresponds to periodic/quasi–periodic oscillations. We investigate the routes to chaos and show that in the spatially regular predator–prey system with the Allee effect, chaos appears as a result of series of period–doubling bifurcations. We also show that this system exhibits period–locking behaviour: a small variation of parameters can lead to alternating regular and chaotic dynamics.

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