The role of the delay time in the modeling of biological range expansions

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38 Citations (Scopus)


The time interval between successive migrations of biological species causes a delay time in the reaction-diffusion equations describing their space-time dynamics. This lowers the predicted speed of the waves of advance, as compared to classical models. It has been shown that this delay-time effect improves the modeling of human range expansions. Here, we demonstrate that it can also be important for other species. We present two new examples where the predictions of the time-delayed and the classical (Fisher) approaches are compared to experimental data. No free or adjustable parameters are used. We show that the importance of the delay effect depends on the dimensionless product of the initial growth rate and the delay time. We argue that the delay effect should be taken into account in the modeling of range expansions for biological species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-264
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Carpodacus mexicanus
  • Delay time
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove
  • House Finch
  • Range expansions
  • Streptopelia decaocto
  • Wavefront speed


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