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Title: Feeding on Multiple Sources: Towards a Universal Parameterization of the Functional Response of a Generalist Predator Allowing for Switching
Authors: Morozov, Andrew
Petrovskii, Sergei
First Published: 25-Sep-2013
Citation: PLoS One, 2013, 8 (9), e74586
Abstract: Understanding of complex trophic interactions in ecosystems requires correct descriptions of the rate at which predators consume a variety of different prey species. Field and laboratory data on multispecies communities are rarely sufficient and usually cannot provide an unambiguous test for the theory. As a result, the conventional way of constructing a multi-prey functional response is speculative, and often based on assumptions that are difficult to verify. Predator responses allowing for prey selectivity and active switching are thought to be more biologically relevant compared to the standard proportion-based consumption. However, here we argue that the functional responses with switching may not be applicable to communities with a broad spectrum of resource types. We formulate a set of general rules that a biologically sound parameterization of a predator functional response should satisfy, and show that all existing formulations for the multispecies response with prey selectivity and switching fail to do so. Finally, we propose a universal framework for parameterization of a multi-prey functional response by combining patterns of food selectivity and proportion-based feeding.
DOI Link: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074586
eISSN: 1932-6203
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2013 Morozov, Petrovskii. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: PMCID: PMC3783441
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Mathematics

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