Interaction of Red Crabs With Yellow Crazy Ants During Migration on Christmas Island

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Mathematical Biosciences


Invasive species have had a profound impact on ecosystems all over the world. Their presence can lead to fundamental changes in the biodiversity of a given ecosystem as well as the extinction of native species. In particular, this work looks at the effect on the Gecarcoidea natalis (Red Crab) population on Christmas Island due to the presence of vast arrays of supercolonies containing Anoplolepis gracilipes (Yellow Crazy Ant). We primarily study the inter-species interaction occurring during the crab migration to the island coast. We propose a microscopic model for the dynamics of the crabs and ants with the goal of increasing crab survival. Through analysis of the model, we investigate a range of potential preventative measures that could be taken to preserve the native crab population dependent on their locations. The main result of this work is that by considering the locations of ant supercolonies incorporated into Monte Carlo simulations of the model, we can identify the order that the supercolonies need to be removed to provide the greatest chance at survival for the crabs per migration cycle.


The authors gratefully acknowledges support from the Cleveland State University, USA Office of Research through a Faculty Research Development Grant.