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A toxin-mediated size-structured population model: Finite difference approximation and well-posedness

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  • The question of the effects of environmental toxins on ecological communities is of great interest from both environmental and conservational points of view. Mathematical models have been applied increasingly to predict the effects of toxins on a variety of ecological processes. Motivated by the fact that individuals with different sizes may have different sensitivities to toxins, we develop a toxin-mediated size-structured model which is given by a system of first order fully nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs). It is very possible that this work represents the first derivation of a PDE model in the area of ecotoxicology. To solve the model, an explicit finite difference approximation to this PDE system is developed. Existence-uniqueness of the weak solution to the model is established and convergence of the finite difference approximation to this unique solution is proved. Numerical examples are provided by numerically solving the PDE model using the finite difference scheme.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: 35L04, 92F99, 65Z99.


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