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Travelling waves in near-degenerate bistable competition models

Travelling waves in near-degenerate bistable competition models

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-35
Number of pages23
JournalMathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


We study a class of bistable reaction-diffusion systems used to model two competing species. Systems in this class possess two uniform stable steady states representing semi-trivial solutions. Principally, we are interested in the case where the ratio of the diffusion coefficients is small, i.e. in the near-degenerate case. First, limiting arguments are presented to relate solutions to such systems to those of the degenerate case where one species is assumed not to diffuse. We then consider travelling wave solutions that connect the two stable semi-trivial states of the non-degenerate system. Next, a general energy function for the full system is introduced. Using this and the limiting arguments, we are able to determine the wave direction for small diffusion coefficient ratios. The results obtained only require knowledge of the system kinetics.



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