The general consumer-resource model
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.