The impact of nonlinear functional responses on the long-term evolution of food web structure

Drossel, Barbara, McKane, Alan J. and Quince, Christopher (2004) The impact of nonlinear functional responses on the long-term evolution of food web structure. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 229 (4). pp. 539-548. ISSN 0022-5193

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


We investigate the long-term web structure emerging in evolutionary food web models when different types of functional responses are used. We find that large and complex webs with several trophic layers arise only if the population dynamics is such that it allows predators to focus on their best prey species. This can be achieved using modified Lotka-Volterra or Holling/Beddington functional responses with effective couplings that depend on the predator's efficiency at exploiting the prey, or a ratio-dependent functional response with adaptive foraging. In contrast, if standard Lotka-Volterra or Holling/Beddington functional responses are used, long-term evolution generates webs with almost all species being basal, and with additionally many links between these species. Interestingly, in all cases studied, a large proportion of weak links result naturally from the evolution of the food webs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We wish to thank Paul Higgs for useful discussions. We also wish to thank Jennifer Dunne, Mark Huxham and Phillip Warren for supplying food web data. CQ thanks the EPSRC (UK) for financial support during the initial stages of this work.
Uncontrolled Keywords: food webs,functional responses,population dynamics,weak links,statistics and probability,modelling and simulation,biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology(all),immunology and microbiology(all),agricultural and biological sciences(all),applied mathematics ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2600/2613
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 19:32
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2004.04.033

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item