Alan J. McKane

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We develop a set of equations to describe the population dynamics of many interacting species in food webs. Predator-prey interactions are nonlinear, and are based on ratio-dependent functional responses. The equations account for competition for resources between members of the same species, and between members of different species. Predators divide their(More)
We introduce a class of stochastic population models based on "patch dynamics." The size of the patch may be varied, and this allows one to quantify the departures of these stochastic models from various mean-field theories, which are generally valid as the patch size becomes very large. These models may be used to formulate a broad range of biological(More)
1 University of California, White Mountain Research Station, Bishop, CA 93514, USA; 2 Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; 3 Department of Environmental Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, the Netherlands; 4 Rockefeller and Columbia Universities, 1230 York Avenue, Box 20, New York NY(More)
We present the simplest individual level model of predator-prey dynamics and show, via direct calculation, that it exhibits cycling behavior. The deterministic analogue of our model, recovered when the number of individuals is infinitely large, is the Volterra system (with density-dependent prey reproduction) which is well known to fail to predict cycles.(More)
The role of stochasticity and its interplay with nonlinearity are central current issues in studies of the complex population patterns observed in nature, including the pronounced oscillations of wildlife and infectious diseases. The dynamics of childhood diseases have provided influential case studies to develop and test mathematical models with practical(More)
We review theoretical approaches to the understanding of food webs. After an overview of the available food web data, we discuss three different classes of models. The first class comprise static models, which assign links between species according to some simple rule. The second class are dynamical models, which include the population dynamics of several(More)
The increasing use of computer simulation by theoretical ecologists started a move away from models formulated at the population level towards individual-based models. However, many of the models studied at the individual level are not analysed mathematically and remain defined in terms of a computer algorithm. This is not surprising, given that they are(More)
We investigate a type of bistability occurring in population systems where noise not only causes transitions between stable states, but also constructs the states themselves. We focus on the experimentally well-studied system of ants choosing between two food sources to illustrate the essential points, but the ideas are more general. The mean time for(More)
We present a mathematical formulation of a theory of language change. The theory is evolutionary in nature and has close analogies with theories of population genetics. The mathematical structure we construct similarly has correspondences with the Fisher-Wright model of population genetics, but there are significant differences. The continuous time(More)
A generalization of the well-known Levins' model of metapopulations is studied. The generalization consists of (i) the introduction of immigration from a mainland, and (ii) assuming the dynamics is stochastic, rather than deterministic. A master equation, for the probability that n of the patches are occupied, is derived and the stationary probability(More)