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Applications of statistical mechanics and nonlinear science to ecological phenomena


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9797

Applications of statistical mechanics and nonlinear science to ecological phenomena

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dc.contributor.author Gonzalez-Palacio, Luis Felipe
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-27T20:41:53Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-27T20:41:53Z
dc.date.issued 2009-08-27T20:41:53Z
dc.date.submitted July 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9797
dc.description.abstract The application of techniques widely used in physics to explain biological phenomena has become a very successful endeavor in the past few decades. Such techniques include, but are not limited to, kinetic equations and nonlinear dynamics. We present an overview of some current topics of interest in ecology that use such techniques to explain and predict a wide array of phenomena. Several successful models are reviewed. We present the results of our analyses of two datasets of repeated sessions of mark-recaptures of the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus (Rodentia: Muridae), the host and reservoir of Sin Nombre virus (Bunyaviridae: Hantavirus). The first dataset corresponds to a three-year period of mark-recaptures in the Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico. The second one corresponds to a four-year period of mark-recaptures in the Wyoming grassland. We study the displacements of the recaptured rodents from a web distribution of traps on the landscape (New Mexico), and a square grid (Wyoming). From the displacements we extract the diffusion constant of the motion of the rodents. In New Mexico, the short-time behavior (1 day) shows the motion to be approximately diffusive and the diffusion constant to be 320 ± 40 m2/day. In Wyoming, the average diffusion constant for the deer mice was 105 ± 10 m2/day. The long-time behavior is capable, in principle, of providing an estimation of the extent of the rodent home ranges. However, the datasets analyzed were not sufficiently detailed to yield a value for the home ranges, and the focus of the thesis is on the diffusion constants rather than on the home ranges. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation National Institutes of Health Consortium of the Americas for Interdisciplinary Science en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Peromyscus en_US
dc.subject animal diffusion en_US
dc.subject epidemics en_US
dc.subject rodents en_US
dc.subject home range en_US
dc.subject Hantavirus en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Ecology--Mathematical models.
dc.subject.lcsh Epidemiology--Statistical methods.
dc.subject.lcsh Reaction-diffusion equations--Numerical solutions.
dc.subject.lcsh Peromyscus maniculatus--New Mexico--Valles Caldera National Preserve--Geographical distribution--Mathematical models.
dc.subject.lcsh Peromyscus maniculatus--Wyoming--Geographical distribution--Mathematical models.
dc.subject.lcsh Hantaviruses--Geographical distribution--Mathematical models.
dc.title Applications of statistical mechanics and nonlinear science to ecological phenomena en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Physics en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of Physics & Astronomy en_US
dc.description.advisor Kenkre, Vasudev (Nitant)
dc.description.committee-member Kenkre, Vasudev (Nitant)
dc.description.committee-member Dunlap, David
dc.description.committee-member Parmenter, Robert

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