Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Ecology (Brooklyn, NY)


Department of Biological Sciences


The importance of negative intraspecific density dependence to promoting species coexistence in a community is well accepted. However, such mechanisms are typically omitted from more explicit models of community dynamics. Here I analyze a variation of the Rosenzweig-MacArthur consumer–resource model that includes negative intraspecific density dependence for consumers to explore its effect on the coexistence of multiple consumers feeding on a single resource. This analysis demonstrates that a guild of multiple consumers can easily coexist on a single resource if each limits its own abundance to some degree, and stronger intraspecific density dependence permits a wider variety of consumers to coexist. The mechanism permitting multiple consumers to coexist works in a fashion similar to apparent competition or to each consumer having its own specialized predator. These results argue for a more explicit emphasis on how negative intraspecific density dependence is generated and how these mechanisms combine with species interactions to shape overall community structure.



Original Citation

McPeek MA. Intraspecific density dependence and a guild of consumers coexisting on one resource. Ecology. 2012 Dec;93(12):2728-35. doi: 10.1890/12-0797.1. PMID: 23431602.