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Ecology. 2007 Nov;88(11):2706-12.

Alternative prey and the dynamics of intraguild predation: theoretical perspectives.

Author information

  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA. rdholt@zoo.ufl.edu


A rich body of theoretical literature now exists focused on the three-species module of intraguild predation (IGP), in which a top predator both attacks and competes with an intermediate predator. Simple models of intraguild predation are often unstable, either because one consumer is excluded, or because sustained oscillations emerge from long feedback loops. Yet, many natural IGP systems robustly persist. Standard models of intraguild predation simplify natural systems in crucial ways that could influence persistence; in particular, many empirical IGP systems are embedded in communities with alternative prey species. We briefly review the key conclusions of standard three-species IGP theory, and then present results of theoretical explorations of how alternative prey can influence the persistence and stability of a focal intraguild predation interaction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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