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Trends Ecol Evol. 1992 May;7(5):151-4. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(92)90208-S.

Intraguild predation: The dynamics of complex trophic interactions.

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Gary Polls is at the Dept of Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA.


There is a long-standing debate in ecology concerning the relative importance of competition and predation in determining community structure. Recently, a novel twist has been added with the growing recognition that potentially competing species are often engaged in predator-prey interactions. This blend of competition and predation is called intraguild predation (IGP). The study of IGP will lead to a reconsideration of many classical topics, such as niche shifts, species exclusion and cascading interactions in food webs. Theoretical models suggest that a variety of alternative stable states are likely in IGP systems, and that intermediate predators should tend to be superior in exploitative competition. Many field studies support these expectations. IGP is also important in applied ecological problems, such as the conservation of endangered species and fisheries management.

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