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Food Webs (MPB-50)$
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Kevin S. McCann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134178

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134178.001.0001

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Lagged Consumer-Resource Dynamics

Lagged Consumer-Resource Dynamics

(p.89) Chapter Six Lagged Consumer-Resource Dynamics
Food Webs (MPB-50)

Kevin S. McCann

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the influence of biological lags on consumer–resource dynamics, with particular emphasis on how consumer–resource cycles, or the lack thereof, interact with population level dynamical phenomena. It first considers discrete consumer–resource interactions before discussing the dynamics of stage-structured consumer–resource interactions. It then explains how stage structure promotes the possibility of alternative stable states and changes consumer–resource interaction strength. It also shows how a change in population structure affects food web interactions and/or the strengths of food webs. Finally, it reviews empirical results that show how stage structure and food web interaction influence ecological stability. The chapter argues that weak and inherently stable consumer–resource interactions can mute a potentially unstable population level phenomenon, and that a dynamically decoupled stable stage class can strongly stabilize other stages and the consumer–resource interaction.

Keywords:   lags, consumer–resource interactions, stage structure, alternative stable states, interaction strength, food webs, ecological stability, population structure, consumer–resource dynamics

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