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Effects of spatial structure and diffusion on the performances of the chemostat

Ihab Haidar Alain Rapaport Frédéric Gérard

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MBE2011,4,953doi:10.3934/mbe.2011.8.953

Given hydric capacity and nutrient flow of a chemostat-like system, we analyse the influence of a spatial structure on the output concentrations at steady-state. Three configurations are compared: perfectly-mixed, serial and parallel with diffusion rate. We show the existence of a threshold on the input concentration of nutrient for which the benefits of the serial and parallel configurations over the perfectly-mixed one are reversed. In addition, we show that the dependency of the output concentrations on the diffusion rate can be non-monotonic, and give precise conditions for the diffusion effect to be advantageous. The study encompasses dead-zone models.

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