Copyright © 2013 Weiwei Zhang and Min Zhao. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The spatiotemporal dynamics of a phytoplankton-zooplankton model with an alternative prey and refuge effect is investigated mathematically and numerically. The stability of the equilibrium point and the traveling wave solution of the phytoplankton-zooplankton model are described based on theoretical mathematical work, which provides the basis of the numerical simulation. The numerical analysis shows that refuges have a strong effect on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the model according to the pattern formation. These results may help us to understand prey-predator interactions in water ecosystems. They are also relevant to research into phytoplankton-zooplankton ecosystems.