T. van Kooten
A.M. de Roos
- Bistability and an Allee effect as emergent consequences of stage-specific predation
- Journal of Theoretical Biology
- Volume | Issue number
- 237 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
The Allee effect, a reduction of individual tness at low population density that can lead to sudden and unannounced extinctions, has been shown to come about through a number of mechanisms, usually associated with group behavior or mate search. Recent papers show that it may arise through size-selective predation, without explicit assumptions relating individual tness to population density. It arises fromthe shift that a predator induces in the population stage distribution of its prey. We study the parameter conditions that lead to such an emergent Allee effect. The emergent Allee effect occurs under fairly broad conditions. We show that stage-speci c predation can also induce bistability between alternative states where both prey and predator are present. A perturbation analysis on the equilibria shows that all equilibria are highly robust to changes in predator density. Our work shows that when size-speci c interactions are taken into account, bistabilities and catastrophic collapses are possible even in purely exploitative food webs, which has substantial implications for questions related to food web theory and conservation issues.
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