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The systematic formulation of population models for insects with dynamically varying instar duration

Nisbet, R.M. and Gurney, William (1983) The systematic formulation of population models for insects with dynamically varying instar duration. Theoretical Population Biology, 23 (1). pp. 114-135. ISSN 0040-5809

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Abstract

We develop a formalism for insect population dynamics which covers the situation where maturation from one instar to its successor is triggered by weight gain and not by chronological age. We specify assumptions which result in the instantaneous “subpopulations” of various instars obeying delay-defferential equations with time delays (representing instar duration) which are themselves dynamic variables, changing in response to the availability of food. We demonstrate the stabilizing potential of variable time delays by studying an idealised two-stage model in which maturation to the adult stage occurs after absorption of a given (fixed) quantity of food.