Juvenile versus adult competition

J. M. Cushing, Jia Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A general class of age-structured models based upon the McKendrick/von Foerster equations are used to study intraspecific competition between juveniles and adults. Criteria for the existence and stability of equilibria are obtained and the dependence of equilibrium stability (i.e. equilibrium resilience) on competition coefficients is analyzed for low inherent net reproductive numbers. The results are applied to the question of whether juvenile vs. adult intraspecific competition is stabilizing or destabilizing. Two types of competition are studied. The first, involving suppressed adult fertility due to competition from juveniles, was found to be destabilizing in that equilibrium levels are lowered and equilibrium resilience weakened by increased competition. The second, involving increased juvenile mortality due to competition from adults, was found to be considerably more complicated. While equilibrium levels were again reduced by increased competition, equilibrium resilience can either be weakened or strengthened. A criterion for determining the effects on resilience is derived and several examples are given to illustrate various possibilities in this case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-473
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of mathematical biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1991


  • Age-structure
  • Destabilization
  • Intraspecific competition
  • Resilience
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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