Organism-induced habitat restoration leads to bi-stability in metapopulations
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Following Levins’ patch occupancy model, we presented a differential-equation model, in which both the metapopulation dynamics and the dynamics of the fraction of suitable patches in the habitat are characterized. Habitat restoration induced by organism itself (internal restoration) and by other organisms or/ and abiotic causes (external restoration) were incorporated in the model, together with habitat destruction. Stability analysis revealed the existence of alternative equilibriums (i.e., bi-stability) in the system. The internal restoration of habitat was identified as the trigger for the bi-stability, whereas the external restoration, in contrast, can eliminate the bi-stability from the system. The results, thus, emphasize the important role of the organism-environment feedback in biological conservation.
- RESEARCH: Hui C