Derivation and Analysis of a Discrete Predator–Prey Model
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We derive a discrete predator-prey model from first principles, assuming that the prey population grows to carrying capacity in the absence of predators and that the predator population requires prey in order to grow. The proposed derivation method exploits a technique known from economics that describes the relationship between continuous and discrete compounding of bonds. We extend standard phase plane analysis by introducing the next iterate root-curve associated with the nontrivial prey nullcline. Using this curve in combination with the nullclines and direction field, we show that the prey-only equilibrium is globally asymptotic stability if the prey consumption-energy rate of the predator is below a certain threshold that implies that the maximal rate of change of the predator is negative. We also use a Lyapunov function to provide an alternative proof. If the prey consumption-energy rate is above this threshold, and hence the maximal rate of change of the predator is positive, the discrete phase plane method introduced is used to show that the coexistence equilibrium exists and solutions oscillate around it. We provide the parameter values for which the coexistence equilibrium exists and determine when it is locally asymptotically stable and when it destabilizes by means of a supercritical Neimark-Sacker bifurcation. We bound the amplitude of the closed invariant curves born from the Neimark-Sacker bifurcation as a function of the model parameters.
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