The reduction method for studying optimal nonlinear stability of constant solutions to some ecological models with diffusion, which include the Cantrell–Cosner and the May–Leonard systems, is given. A new canonical energy (Lyapunov function) is introduced, and it is proved that the regions of linear and nonlinear stability coincide with a known radius of attraction for the initial data. Attention is focused on a May–Leonard system with circular symmetry, an asymmetric May–Leonard system with diffusion, and a system for aggregation of glia in the brain.
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