Reproductive pair correlations and the clustering of organisms

Young, W. R. and Roberts, A. J. and Stuhne, Gordan (2001) Reproductive pair correlations and the clustering of organisms. Nature, 412 (6844). pp. 328-331. ISSN 0028-0836


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Clustering of organisms can be a consequence of social behaviour, or of the response of individuals to chemical and physical cues. Environmental variability can also cause clustering: for example, marine turbulence transports plankton and produces chlorophyll concentration patterns in the upper ocean. Even in a homogeneous environment, nonlinear interactions between species can result in spontaneous pattern formation. Here we show that a population of independent, random-walking organisms ('brownian bugs'), reproducing by binary division and dying at constant rates, spontaneously aggregates. Using an individual-based model, we show that clusters form out of spatially homogeneous initial conditions without environmental variability, predator–prey interactions, kinesis or taxis. The clustering mechanism is reproductively driven—birth must always be adjacent to a living organism. This clustering can overwhelm diffusion and create non-poissonian correlations between pairs (parent and offspring) or organisms, leading to the emergence of patterns.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Awaiting Author's version. Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Pre-print version of article, as made available here, differs in title from the Published version. Pre-print title: Reproductive pair correlations, brownian bugs and plankton patches.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Maths and Computing (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:18
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 01:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: clustering; Brownian bugs; reproductive pair correlations
Fields of Research (2008): 06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology
01 Mathematical Sciences > 0102 Applied Mathematics > 010202 Biological Mathematics
06 Biological Sciences > 0607 Plant Biology > 060702 Plant Cell and Molecular Biology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
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