OOS 60-10
The general consumer-resource model

Thursday, August 13, 2015: 11:10 AM
315, Baltimore Convention Center
Kevin Lafferty, Western Ecological Research Center, US Geological Survey, Santa Barbara, CA
Giulio De Leo, Biology, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University
Cheryl J. Briggs, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
Andrew P. Dobson, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Thilo Gross, Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Armand Kuris, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Complex food-web dynamics emerge from pair-wise consumer-resource interactions. Most consumer-resource population models start simple, then add details. Here, we take the opposite approach, identifying the common set of structural attributes that underlie consumer-resource interactions to create an overarching general model.


The general consumer-resource model shows the mathematical relationships among different consumer strategies. For instance, we find two distinct model flow diagrams and three basic reproduction number (R0) classes, with a universal (and destabilizing) saturation of R0 with resource abundance, broad insights not available from specific models. Deriving classic consumer-resource models from the general model reveals assumptions needed to interpret the bulk of current consumer-resource theory. Furthermore, the general consumer-resource model allows a logical integration of all consumer strategies into future food-web models.