Generation cycles in stage-structured populations

V.A.A. Jansen, R.M. Nisbet, William Gurney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Some insect populations exhibit cycles in which successive population peaks may correspond to effectively discrete generations. Motivated by this observation, we investigate the structure of matriarchal generations in five simple, continuous-time, stage structure models in order to determine the proportion of individuals in one population peak who are the offspring of individuals in the pervious peak. We conclude that in certain models (including a model of Nicholson's blowflies) successive population peaks do not correspond to discrete generations, whereas in others (including some models of uniform larval competition) successive peaks may well approximate discrete generations. In all models, however, there is eventually significant overlap of generations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-396
Number of pages22
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1990


  • population cycles
  • population peaks
  • discrete generations


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