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Supplementary material from "The collective effect of finite-sized inhomogeneities on the spatial spread of populations in two dimensions"

Version 2 2021-10-20, 03:13
Version 1 2021-10-14, 09:51
Posted on 2021-10-20 - 03:13
The dynamics of a population expanding into unoccupied habitat has been primarily studied for situations in which growth and dispersal parameters are uniform in space or vary in one dimension. Here, we study the influence of finite-sized individual inhomogeneities and their collective effect on front speed if randomly placed in a two-dimensional habitat. We use an individual-based model to investigate the front dynamics for a region in which dispersal or growth of individuals is reduced to zero (obstacles) or increased above the background (hotspots), respectively. In a regime where front dynamics is determined by a local front speed only, a principle of least time can be employed to predict front speed and shape. The resulting analytical solutions motivate an event-based algorithm illustrating the effects of several obstacles or hotspots. We finally apply the principle of least time to large heterogeneous environments by solving the Eikonal equation numerically. Obstacles lead to a slow-down that is dominated by the number density and width of obstacles, but not by their precise shape. Hotspots result in a speedup, which we characterize as function of hotspot strength and density. Our findings emphasize the importance of taking the dimensionality of the environment into account.

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