Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2012

Publication Title

Ecology (Brooklyn, NY)

Abstract

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.

DOI

10.1890/12-0797.1

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