Inducible defences and the paradox of enrichment

Matthijs Vos, Bob W. Kooi, Donald L. DeAngelis, Wolf M. Mooij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to evaluate the effects of inducible defences on community stability and persistence, we analyzed models of bitrophic and tritrophic food chains that incorporate consumer-induced polymorphisms. These models predict that intraspecific heterogeneity in defence levels resolves the paradox of enrichment for a range of top-down effects that affect consumer death rates and for all possible levels of primary productivity. We show analytically that this stability can be understood in terms of differences in handling times on the different prey types. Our predictions still hold when defences also affect consumer attack rates. The predicted stability occurs in both bitrophic and tritrophic food chains. Inducible defences may promote population persistence in tritrophic food chains. Here the minimum densities of cycling populations remain bound away from zero, thus decreasing the risk of population extinctions. However, the reverse can be true for the equivalent bitrophic predator-prey model. This shows that theoretical extrapolations from simple to complex communities should be made with caution. Our results show that inducible defences are among the ecological factors that promote stability in multitrophic communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-480
Number of pages10
JournalOikos
Volume105
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

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food chain
polymorphism
persistence
primary productivity
extinction
handling time
predators
prediction
defence
predator
productivity
rate
effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Vos, M., Kooi, B. W., DeAngelis, D. L., & Mooij, W. M. (2004). Inducible defences and the paradox of enrichment. Oikos, 105(3), 471-480. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.12930.x

Inducible defences and the paradox of enrichment. / Vos, Matthijs; Kooi, Bob W.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

In: Oikos, Vol. 105, No. 3, 01.06.2004, p. 471-480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vos, M, Kooi, BW, DeAngelis, DL & Mooij, WM 2004, 'Inducible defences and the paradox of enrichment', Oikos, vol. 105, no. 3, pp. 471-480. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.12930.x
Vos M, Kooi BW, DeAngelis DL, Mooij WM. Inducible defences and the paradox of enrichment. Oikos. 2004 Jun 1;105(3):471-480. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.12930.x
Vos, Matthijs ; Kooi, Bob W. ; DeAngelis, Donald L. ; Mooij, Wolf M. / Inducible defences and the paradox of enrichment. In: Oikos. 2004 ; Vol. 105, No. 3. pp. 471-480.
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