Browsing by Subject "Bifurcation"

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  • Kauko, Jaakko (2014)
    Taking complexity as an epistemic starting point, this article enhances understanding of dynamics in higher education. It also reviews the relevant literature on path dependency, complexity research, and studies of political change and contingency. These ideas are further developed with reference to the political situation and political possibilities as concepts. It is claimed that the key issues in understanding irreversibility on a system level are institutional change and politicisation. It is deduced from two case studies in the Finnish context that founding new institutions created bifurcations in both. Then again, the politicisation for disbanding existing institutions has proved rather futile. The key findings are that the choices in higher education politics increase the complexity of the system, and that many of the choices made are irreversible for reasons to do with contingency.
  • Lehtinen, Sami (2021)
    In many terrestrial, marine, and freshwater predator-prey communities, young predators can be vulnerable to attacks by large prey. Frequent prey counter-attacks may hinder the persistence of predators. Despite the commonness of such role reversals in nature, they have rarely been addressed in evolutionary modelling. To understand how role reversals affect ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a predator-prey community, we derived an ecological model from individual-level processes using ordinary differential equations. The model reveals complex ecological dynamics, with possible bistability between alternative coexistence states and an Allee effect for the predators. We find that when prey counter-attacks are frequent, cannibalism is necessary for predator persistence. Using numerical analysis, we also find that a sudden ecological shift from coexistence to predator extinction can occur through several catastrophic bifurcations, including ‘saddle-node’, ‘homoclinic’, and ‘subcritical Hopf’. The analysis of single-species evolution reveals that predator selection towards increasing or decreasing cannibalism triggers a catastrophic shift towards an extinction state of the predators. Such an evolutionary extinction of the predators may also be caused by prey selection towards increasing foraging activity because it facilitates encounters with vulnerable, young predators. The analysis of predator-prey coevolution further demonstrates that predator’s catastrophic extinction becomes an even more likely outcome than in single-species evolution. Our results suggest that when young predators are vulnerable to prey attacks, a sudden extinction of the predators may be more common than currently understood.