Noise-induced suppression of periodic travelling waves in oscillatory reaction–diffusion systems

Michael Sieber, Horst Malchow, Sergei V. Petrovskii


Ecological field data suggest that some species show periodic changes in abundance over time and in a specific spatial direction. Periodic travelling waves as solutions to reaction–diffusion equations have helped to identify possible scenarios, by which such spatio-temporal patterns may arise. In this paper, such solutions are tested for their robustness against an irregular temporal forcing, since most natural populations can be expected to be subject to erratic fluctuations imposed by the environment. It is found that small environmental noise is able to suppress periodic travelling waves in stochastic variants of oscillatory reaction–diffusion systems. Irregular spatio-temporal oscillations, however, appear to be more robust and persist under the same stochastic forcing.


  • Received November 17, 2009.
  • Accepted December 21, 2009.
View Full Text