A consumer-resource approach to the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism

J. Nathaniel Holland, Donald L. Deangelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Like predation and competition, mutualism is now recognized as a consumerresource (C-R) interaction, including, in particular, bi-directional (e.g., coral, plantmycorrhizae) and uni-directional (e.g., ant-plant defense, plant-pollinator) C-R mutualisms. Here, we develop general theory for the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism based on the C-R mechanism of interspecific interaction. To test the influence of C-R interactions on the dynamics and stability of bi- and uni-directional C-R mutualisms, we developed simple models that link consumer functional response of one mutualistic species with the resources supplied by another. Phase-plane analyses show that the ecological dynamics of C-R mutualisms are stable in general. Most transient behavior leads to an equilibrium of mutualistic coexistence, at which both species densities are greater than in the absence of interactions. However, due to the basic nature of C-R interactions, certain densitydependent conditions can lead to C-R dynamics characteristic of predator-prey interactions, in which one species overexploits and causes the other to go extinct. Consistent with empirical phenomena, these results suggest that the C-R interaction can provide a broad mechanism for understanding density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism. By unifying predation, competition, and mutualism under the common ecological framework of consumer-resource theory, we may also gain a better understanding of the universal features of interspecific interactions in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1286-1295
Number of pages10
JournalEcology
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Fingerprint

mutualism
population dynamics
interspecific interaction
resource
predation
plant defense
predator-prey interaction
functional response
predator-prey relationships
pollinator
pollinators
coexistence
ant
corals
coral
Formicidae
testing

Keywords

  • Consumer-resource interaction
  • Context dependent
  • Density dependent
  • Equilibrium
  • Functional response
  • Indirect interaction
  • Resource supply
  • Stability
  • Transient behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

A consumer-resource approach to the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism. / Holland, J. Nathaniel; Deangelis, Donald L.

In: Ecology, Vol. 91, No. 5, 01.05.2010, p. 1286-1295.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Holland, J. Nathaniel ; Deangelis, Donald L. / A consumer-resource approach to the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism. In: Ecology. 2010 ; Vol. 91, No. 5. pp. 1286-1295.
@article{47e472a0263443a2bc2b7cbdd847e399,
title = "A consumer-resource approach to the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism",
abstract = "Like predation and competition, mutualism is now recognized as a consumerresource (C-R) interaction, including, in particular, bi-directional (e.g., coral, plantmycorrhizae) and uni-directional (e.g., ant-plant defense, plant-pollinator) C-R mutualisms. Here, we develop general theory for the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism based on the C-R mechanism of interspecific interaction. To test the influence of C-R interactions on the dynamics and stability of bi- and uni-directional C-R mutualisms, we developed simple models that link consumer functional response of one mutualistic species with the resources supplied by another. Phase-plane analyses show that the ecological dynamics of C-R mutualisms are stable in general. Most transient behavior leads to an equilibrium of mutualistic coexistence, at which both species densities are greater than in the absence of interactions. However, due to the basic nature of C-R interactions, certain densitydependent conditions can lead to C-R dynamics characteristic of predator-prey interactions, in which one species overexploits and causes the other to go extinct. Consistent with empirical phenomena, these results suggest that the C-R interaction can provide a broad mechanism for understanding density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism. By unifying predation, competition, and mutualism under the common ecological framework of consumer-resource theory, we may also gain a better understanding of the universal features of interspecific interactions in general.",
keywords = "Consumer-resource interaction, Context dependent, Density dependent, Equilibrium, Functional response, Indirect interaction, Resource supply, Stability, Transient behavior",
author = "Holland, {J. Nathaniel} and Deangelis, {Donald L.}",
year = "2010",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1890/09-1163.1",
language = "English",
volume = "91",
pages = "1286--1295",
journal = "Ecology",
issn = "0012-9658",
publisher = "Ecological Society of America",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A consumer-resource approach to the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism

AU - Holland, J. Nathaniel

AU - Deangelis, Donald L.

PY - 2010/5/1

Y1 - 2010/5/1

N2 - Like predation and competition, mutualism is now recognized as a consumerresource (C-R) interaction, including, in particular, bi-directional (e.g., coral, plantmycorrhizae) and uni-directional (e.g., ant-plant defense, plant-pollinator) C-R mutualisms. Here, we develop general theory for the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism based on the C-R mechanism of interspecific interaction. To test the influence of C-R interactions on the dynamics and stability of bi- and uni-directional C-R mutualisms, we developed simple models that link consumer functional response of one mutualistic species with the resources supplied by another. Phase-plane analyses show that the ecological dynamics of C-R mutualisms are stable in general. Most transient behavior leads to an equilibrium of mutualistic coexistence, at which both species densities are greater than in the absence of interactions. However, due to the basic nature of C-R interactions, certain densitydependent conditions can lead to C-R dynamics characteristic of predator-prey interactions, in which one species overexploits and causes the other to go extinct. Consistent with empirical phenomena, these results suggest that the C-R interaction can provide a broad mechanism for understanding density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism. By unifying predation, competition, and mutualism under the common ecological framework of consumer-resource theory, we may also gain a better understanding of the universal features of interspecific interactions in general.

AB - Like predation and competition, mutualism is now recognized as a consumerresource (C-R) interaction, including, in particular, bi-directional (e.g., coral, plantmycorrhizae) and uni-directional (e.g., ant-plant defense, plant-pollinator) C-R mutualisms. Here, we develop general theory for the density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism based on the C-R mechanism of interspecific interaction. To test the influence of C-R interactions on the dynamics and stability of bi- and uni-directional C-R mutualisms, we developed simple models that link consumer functional response of one mutualistic species with the resources supplied by another. Phase-plane analyses show that the ecological dynamics of C-R mutualisms are stable in general. Most transient behavior leads to an equilibrium of mutualistic coexistence, at which both species densities are greater than in the absence of interactions. However, due to the basic nature of C-R interactions, certain densitydependent conditions can lead to C-R dynamics characteristic of predator-prey interactions, in which one species overexploits and causes the other to go extinct. Consistent with empirical phenomena, these results suggest that the C-R interaction can provide a broad mechanism for understanding density-dependent population dynamics of mutualism. By unifying predation, competition, and mutualism under the common ecological framework of consumer-resource theory, we may also gain a better understanding of the universal features of interspecific interactions in general.

KW - Consumer-resource interaction

KW - Context dependent

KW - Density dependent

KW - Equilibrium

KW - Functional response

KW - Indirect interaction

KW - Resource supply

KW - Stability

KW - Transient behavior

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77951782961&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77951782961&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1890/09-1163.1

DO - 10.1890/09-1163.1

M3 - Article

VL - 91

SP - 1286

EP - 1295

JO - Ecology

JF - Ecology

SN - 0012-9658

IS - 5

ER -