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Trends Ecol Evol. 2000 Aug;15(8):337-341.

The nature of predation: prey dependent, ratio dependent or neither?

Abstract

To describe a predator-prey relationship, it is necessary to specify the rate of prey consumption by an average predator. This functional response largely determines dynamic stability, responses to environmental influences and the nature of indirect effects in the food web containing the predator-prey pair. Nevertheless, measurements of functional responses in nature are quite rare. Recently, much work has been devoted to comparing two idealized forms of the functional response: prey dependent and ratio dependent. Although we agree that predator abundance often affects the consumption rate of individual predators, this phenomenon requires more attention. Disagreement remains over which of the two idealized responses serves as a better starting point in building models when data on predator dependence are absent.

PMID:
10884706

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