Cooperation delay induced chaos in an ecological system

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Research Article

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In the present paper, we investigate the impact of time delay during cooperative hunting in a predator-prey model. We consider that cooperative predators do not aggregate in a group instantly, but individuals use different stages and strategies such as tactile, visual, vocal cues, or a suitable combination of these to communicate with each other. We observe that delay in hunting cooperation has stabilizing as well as destabilizing effects in the system. Also, for an increase in the strength of the delay, the system dynamics switch multiple times and eventually become chaotic. We see that depending on the threshold of time delay, the system may restore its original state or may go far away from its original state and unable to recollect its memory. Furthermore, we explore the dynamics of the system in different bi-parameter spaces and observe that for a particular range of other parameter values, the system dynamics switch multiple times with an increase of delay in all the planes. Different kinds of multistability behaviors, the coexistence of multiple attractors, and interesting changes in the basins of attraction of the system are also observed. We infer that depending on the initial population size and the strength of cooperation delay, the populations can exhibit stable coexistence, oscillating coexistence, or extinction of the predator species.



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