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Feedback-mediated coexistence and oscillations in the chemostat

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  • We consider a mathematical model that describes the competition of three species for a single nutrient in a chemostat in which the dilution rate is assumed to be controllable by means of state dependent feedback. We consider feedback schedules that are affine functions of the species concentrations. In case of two species, we show that the system may undergo a Hopf bifurcation and oscillatory behavior may be induced by appropriately choosing the coefficients of the feedback function. When the growth of the species obeys Michaelis-Menten kinetics, we show that the Hopf bifurcation is supercritical in the relevant parameter region, and the bifurcating periodic solutions for two species are always stable. Finally, we show that by adding a third species to the system, the two-species stable periodic solutions may bifurcate into the coexistence region via a transcritical bifurcation. We give conditions under which the bifurcating orbit is locally asymptotically stable.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: 34C23, 34H05, 37G10, 92D25, 93C15.


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