Thesis

Static and dynamic modeling procedures for food web systems

Traditional modeling procedures in biology have largely been confined to the development of descriptive models and single degree of freedom mathematical models. The emergence of the computer has enabled the user to model systems with several degrees of freedom in order to determine the behavior of large systems. Large system modeling may be faciliated by using efficient, mechanical formulation and solution procedures. Modeling procedures were developed using matrix set-up and solution procedures based upon static and dynamic structural analysis techniques. Methods presented enable the biologist to develop static and dynamic models of food web structures and the effects of changes in the food web, and to determine the static and dynamic stability of a food web. Models were based upon the assembly of systems of linear equations or linerized quasi-linear equations. Modeling procedures were used to analyze several contrived and actual food web systems. It was concluded that modeling procedures were capable of being used in ecological prediction studies, and could provide an explanation for four and ten year population cycles noted among some arctic species.

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