Diekmann, Odo; Gyllenberg, Mats; Metz, Johan A. J.
(2020)
In a physiologically structured population model (PSPM) individuals are characterised by continuous variables, like age and size, collectively called their i-state. The world in which these individuals live is characterised by another set of variables, collectively called the environmental condition. The model consists of submodels for (i) the dynamics of the i-state, e.g. growth and maturation, (ii) survival, (iii) reproduction, with the relevant rates described as a function of (i-state, environmental condition), (iv) functions of (i-state, environmental condition), like biomass or feeding rate, that integrated over the i-state distribution together produce the output of the population model. When the environmental condition is treated as a given function of time (input), the population model becomes linear in the state. Density dependence and interaction with other populations is captured by feedback via a shared environment, i.e., by letting the environmental condition be influenced by the populations' outputs. This yields a systematic methodology for formulating community models by coupling nonlinear input-output relations defined by state-linear population models. For some combinations of submodels an (infinite dimensional) PSPM can without loss of relevant information be replaced by a finite dimensional ODE. We then call the model ODE-reducible. The present paper provides (a) a test for checking whether a PSPM is ODE reducible, and (b) a catalogue of all possible ODE-reducible models given certain restrictions, to wit: (i) the i-state dynamics is deterministic, (ii) the i-state space is one-dimensional, (iii) the birth rate can be written as a finite sum of environment-dependent distributions over the birth states weighted by environment independent 'population outputs'. So under these restrictions our conditions for ODE-reducibility are not only sufficient but in fact necessary. Restriction (iii) has the desirable effect that it guarantees that the population trajectories are after a while fully determined by the solution of the ODE so that the latter gives a complete picture of the dynamics of the population and not just of its outputs.