Transient dynamics and pattern formation: reactivity is necessary for Turing instabilities. Academic Article uri icon


  • The theory of spatial pattern formation via Turing bifurcations - wherein an equilibrium of a nonlinear system is asymptotically stable in the absence of dispersal but unstable in the presence of dispersal - plays an important role in biology, chemistry and physics. It is an asymptotic theory, concerned with the long-term behavior of perturbations. In contrast, the concept of reactivity describes the short-term transient behavior of perturbations to an asymptotically stable equilibrium. In this article we show that there is a connection between these two seemingly disparate concepts. In particular, we show that reactivity is necessary for Turing instability in multispecies systems of reaction-diffusion equations, integrodifference equations, coupled map lattices, and systems of ordinary differential equations.

publication date

  • January 2002