Oscillations vs. chaotic waves: Attractor selection in bistable stochastic reaction–diffusion systems
Institute of Environmental Systems Research, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Osnabrück, 49069 Osnabrück, Germany
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Revised: 9 August 2010
Published online: 1 October 2010
In bistable systems, the long-term behavior of solutions depends on the location of the initial conditions. In a deterministic setting, where the initial condition is kept fixed in one particular basin of attraction, repeated numerical simulations will always lead to the same long-term behavior. The other possible asymptotic solution type will never be observed. This clear distinction does not hold anymore if the system is forced by random fluctuations. In this case, both asymptotic solutions can be attained, and the relative frequency of different long-term behaviors observed in many repeated simulation runs will follow a certain probability distribution. We present a simple reaction–diffusion model of spatial predator–prey interaction, where depending on the initial spatial distribution of the two populations either spatially homogeneous or spatiotemporal irregular oscillations may be observed. We show by repeated stochastic simulations that, when starting in the basin of attraction of the spatiotemporal irregular solution, in the randomly forced system the probability to observe spatially homogeneous oscillations instead of spatiotemporally irregular oscillations follows a non-trivial bimodal distribution.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2010