The effect of different measures of winter severity on models of wolf-deer interactions
In this paper we present a mathematical model for the change through time of the population of wolves and their primary prey item, white-tailed deer, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP). Modified Lotka-Volterra models are used in order to describe the dynamics of this biological system in which wolves and deer interact, the former as predator and the latter as prey. In this paper we compare four models for the wolf and deer populations in the UP. The first model does not include the weather in any way. The others each use one measure of winter severity-temperature, snowfall, and the Winter Severity Index (WSI). The fit of these models is evaluated based on the root of sum of square errors and a visual study of the graphs.
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