Kye, Geunho; Jonathan Machta; Karen C. Abbott; Alan Hastings; William Huffmyer; Fang Ji; Andrew M. Liebhold and Julie C. Blackwood

Periodical cicadas, Magicicada spp., are a useful model system for understanding the population processes that influence range boundaries. Unlike most insects, these species typically exist at very high densities (occasionally >1000/ m(2)) and have unusually long life-spans (13 or 17 years). They spend most of their lives underground feeding on plant roots. After the underground period, adults emerge from the ground to mate and oviposit over a period of just a few days. Collections of populations that are developmentally synchronized across large areas are known as "broods". There are usually sharp boundaries between spatially adjacent broods and regions of brood overlap are generally small. The exact mechanism behind this developmental synchronization and the sharp boundary between broods remain unknown: previous studies have focused on the impacts of predator-driven Allee-effects, competition among nymphs, and their impacts on the persistence of off-synchronized emergence events. Here, we present a nonlinear Leslie-type matrix model to additionally consider cicada movement between spatially separated broods, and examine its role in maintaining brood boundaries and within-brood developmental synchrony that is seen in nature. We successfully identify ranges of competition and dispersal that lead to stable coexistence of broods that differ between spatial patches.