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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 May 28;104(21):218102. Epub 2010 May 25.

Entropy production of cyclic population dynamics.

Author information

1
Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics, LMU München, Theresienstraße 37, 80333 München, Germany.

Abstract

Entropy serves as a central observable in equilibrium thermodynamics. However, many biological and ecological systems operate far from thermal equilibrium. Here we show that entropy production can characterize the behavior of such nonequilibrium systems. To this end we calculate the entropy production for a population model that displays nonequilibrium behavior resulting from cyclic competition. At a critical point the dynamics exhibits a transition from large, limit-cycle-like oscillations to small, erratic oscillations. We show that the entropy production peaks very close to the critical point and tends to zero upon deviating from it. We further provide analytical methods for computing the entropy production which agree excellently with numerical simulations.

PMID:
20867139
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.218102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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