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Chaos in a model for masting

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  • Isagi et al introduced a model for masting, that is, the intermittent production of flowers and fruit by trees. A tree produces flowers and fruit only when the stored energy exceeds a certain threshold value. If flowers and fruit are not produced, the stored energy increases by a certain fixed amount; if flowers and fruit are produced, the energy is depleted by an amount proportional to the excess stored energy. Thus a one-dimensional model is derived for the amount of stored energy. When the ratio of the amount of energy used for flowering and fruit production in a reproductive year to the excess amount of stored energy before that year is small, the stored energy approaches a constant value as time passes. However when this ratio is large, the amount of stored energy varies unpredictably and as the ratio increases the range of possible values for the stored energy increases also. In this article we describe this chaotic behavior precisely with complete proofs.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 37E05, 37D45; Secondary: 37G35.


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