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The delayed logistic equation (also known as Hutchinson's equation or Wright's equation) was originally introduced to explain oscillatory phenomena in ecological dynamics. While it motivated the development of a large number of mathematical tools in the study of nonlinear delay differential equations, it also received criticism from modellers because of the lack of a mechanistic biological derivation and interpretation. Here we propose a new delayed logistic equation, which has clear biological underpinning coming from cell population modelling. This nonlinear differential equation includes terms with discrete and distributed delays. The global dynamics is completely described, and it is proven that all feasible nontrivial solutions converge to the positive equilibrium. The main tools of the proof rely on persistence theory, comparison principles and an $L^2$-perturbation technique. Using local invariant manifolds, a unique heteroclinic orbit is constructed that connects the unstable zero and the stable positive equilibrium, and we show that these three complete orbits constitute the global attractor of the system. Despite global attractivity, the dynamics is not trivial as we can observe long-lasting transient oscillatory patterns of various shapes. We also discuss the biological implications of these findings and their relations to other logistic type models of growth with delays.


Journal article


Journal of Nonlinear Science


Springer Verlag

Publication Date



math.DS, math.DS