
The data are population sizes of yeast Saccharaomyces cerevisiae growth in laboratory cultures over a period of several days with different levels of growth inhibitor cycloheximide.

An intriguing recent result from mathematics is that a population diffusing at an intermediate rate in an environment in which resources vary spatially will reach a higher total equilibrium biomass than the population in an environment in which the same total resources are distributed homogeneously. We extended the current mathematical theory to apply to logistic growth and also showed that the result applies to patchy systems with dispersal among patches, both for continuous and discrete time. This allowed us to make specific predictions, through simulations, concerning the biomass dynamics, which were verified by a laboratory experiment. The experiment was a study of biomass growth of duckweed (Lemna minor Linn.),...

A recent result for a reactiondiffusion equation is that a population diffusing at any rate in an environment in which resources vary spatially will reach a higher total equilibrium biomass than the population in an environment in which the same total resources are distributed homogeneously. This has so far been proven by Lou for the case in which the reaction term has only one parameter, m(x)m(x), varying with spatial location xx, which serves as both the intrinsic growth rate coefficient and carrying capacity of the population. However, this striking result seems rather limited when applies to real populations. In order to make the model more relevant for ecologists, we consider a logistic reaction term, with...

The data are population sizes of yeast Saccharaomyces cerevisiae growth in laboratory cultures over a period of several days with different levels of growth inhibitor cycloheximide.

A large body of theory predicts that populations diffusing in heterogeneous environments reach higher total size than if nondiffusing, and, paradoxically, higher size than in a corresponding homogeneous environment. However, this theory and its assumptions have not been rigorously tested. Here, we extended previous theory to include exploitable resources, proving qualitatively novel results, which we tested experimentally using spatially diffusing laboratory populations of yeast. Consistent with previous theory, we predicted and experimentally observed that spatial diffusion increased total equilibrium population abundance in heterogeneous environments, with the effect size depending on the relationship between...

View more...
