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Integrodifference (IDE) models can be used to determine the critical domain size required for persistence of populations with distinct dispersal and growth phases. Using this modelling framework, we develop a novel spatially implicit approximation to the proportion of individuals lost to unfavourable habitat outside of a finite domain of favourable habitat, which consistently outperforms the most common approximations. We explore how results using this approximation compare to the existing IDE results on the critical domain size for populations in a single patch of good habitat, in a network of patches, in the presence of advection, and in structured populations. We find that the approximation consistently provides results which are in close agreement with those of an IDE model except in the face of strong advective forces, with the advantage of requiring fewer numerical approximations while providing insights into the significance of disperser retention in determining the critical domain size of an IDE.

Original publication




Journal article


Bull Math Biol

Publication Date





72 - 109


Approximation, Bifurcation point, Critical domain size, Integrodifference equations, Animals, Ecosystem, Mathematical Concepts, Models, Biological, Population Dynamics