Life Stages: Interactions and Spatial Patterns

Suzanne L. Robertson, J. M. Cushing, R. F. Costantino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In many stage-structured species, different life stages often occupy separate spatial niches in a heterogeneous environment. Life stages of the giant flour beetle Tribolium brevicornis (Leconte), in particular adults and pupae, occupy different locations in a homogeneous habitat. This unique spatial pattern does not occur in the well-studied stored grain pests T. castaneum (Herbst) and T. confusum (Duval). We propose density dependent dispersal as a causal mechanism for this spatial pattern. We model and explore the spatial dynamics of T. brevicornis with a set of four density dependent integrodifference and difference equations. The spatial model exhibits multiple attractors: a spatially uniform attractor and a patchy attractor with pupae and adults spatially separated. The model attractors are consistent with experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-508
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Density dependent dispersal
  • Flour beetle
  • Integrodifference equations
  • Life stage interactions
  • Spatial distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Mathematics(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pharmacology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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