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Population and Community Ecology of Ontogenetic Development

Population and Community Ecology of Ontogenetic Development

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 448
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  • Book Info
    Population and Community Ecology of Ontogenetic Development
    Book Description:

    Most organisms show substantial changes in size or morphology after they become independent of their parents and have to find their own food. Furthermore, the rate at which these changes occur generally depends on the amount of food they ingest. In this book, André de Roos and Lennart Persson advance a synthetic and individual-based theory of the effects of this plastic ontogenetic development on the dynamics of populations and communities.

    De Roos and Persson show how the effects of ontogenetic development on ecological dynamics critically depend on the efficiency with which differently sized individuals convert food into new biomass. Differences in this efficiency--or ontogenetic asymmetry--lead to bottlenecks in and thus population regulation by either maturation or reproduction. De Roos and Persson investigate the community consequences of these bottlenecks for trophic configurations that vary in the number and type of interacting species and in the degree of ontogenetic niche shifts exhibited by their individuals. They also demonstrate how insights into the effects of maturation and reproduction limitation on community equilibrium carry over to the dynamics of size-structured populations and give rise to different types of cohort-driven cycles.

    Featuring numerous examples and tests of modeling predictions, this book provides a pioneering and extensive theoretical and empirical treatment of the ecology of ontogenetic growth and development in organisms, emphasizing the importance of an individual-based perspective for understanding population and community dynamics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4561-3
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Developmental & Cell Biology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)

    • CHAPTER ONE Summary: A Bird’s-Eye View of Community and Population Effects of Ontogenetic Development
      (pp. 3-23)

      Why start with summarizing the contents of a book? In the present case we see at least two good reasons. First, the amount of information provided in our book is without doubt quite massive. A summary provides an overview of the many topics that we cover and, we hope, reduces the risk that the reader will get lost in details and can no longer see the forest through the trees. Second, and partly related to the first reason, a number of, in our mind, novel and fundamental insights (some of them were not even known to us when we started...

    • CHAPTER TWO Life History Processes, Ontogenetic Development, and Density Dependence
      (pp. 24-46)

      Standard textbooks in ecology (e.g., Begon, Harper, and Townsend 1996) define population ecology as “the study of the variations in time and space in the size and densities of populations, and of the factors causing those variations.” In this context a population is defined as “a group of individuals of one species in an area, though the size and nature of the area is defined, often arbitrarily, for the purposes of the study undertaken.” But how have we, as ecologists, conceptualized populations? In other words, how have we in our research looked at these “group[s] of individuals of one species”?...


    • CHAPTER THREE Biomass Overcompensation
      (pp. 49-114)

      Underlying many, if not all, of the effects of ontogenetic growth on the structure of ecological communities is a phenomenon that we refer to as “biomass overcompensation” (de Roos, Schellekens, et al. 2007). Whenever the mortality that a population is exposed to changes, not only its total abundance is likely to change, but also its composition in terms of densities of individuals of different body sizes. This change in population structure may lead to an increase in the biomass density in a particular size-class of the population when mortality increases. We use the term “biomass overcompensation” for such an increase...

    • CHAPTER 4 Emergent Allee Effects through Biomass Overcompensation
      (pp. 115-164)

      Intuitively, the community consequences of biomass overcompensation in a particular life stage of a consumer population are relatively straightforward to deduce. In the previous chapter we found, for example, that stage-specific biomass may increase in response to an increase in mortality in the same stage. Now consider that the mortality is imposed by a predator that preys exclusively on the consumer stage exhibiting biomass overcompensation. A larger predator density will imply higher prey mortality from predation. Through biomass overcompensation, however, this will lead to an increase in biomass of the prey stage exposed to predation and consequently to an increase...

    • CHAPTER 5 Emergent Facilitation among Predators on Size-Structured Prey
      (pp. 165-195)

      Whenever two or more consumer species compete for the same resources, their coexistence is governed by the principles of competitive exclusion (Hardin 1960; MacArthur and Levins 1967; Volterra 1928) and by niche segregation (Schoener 1974). The principle postulates that two consumer species cannot coexist in stable equilibrium when competing for a single resource. The species that manages to persist at the lowest resource density will oust its competitor. Only in cases where this superior competitor exhibits fluctuations in density—for example, because its interaction with the resource results in predator-prey oscillations—may the inferior competitor, under specific conditions, persist as...

    • CHAPTER 6 Ontogenetic Niche Shifts
      (pp. 196-252)

      Development and growth in body size makes individual organisms change during ontogeny in a variety of ways. On the one hand, there are the changes in, for example, feeding and maintenance rate with increasing body size. These changes may lead to differences in energetics between individuals at different stages in their life history and hence give rise to the biomass overcompensation discussed in chapter 3 and its community consequences discussed in chapters 4 and 5. Such changes are mostly quantitative in nature, as they concern changes in the rate of life history processes associated with increases in body size. Individuals,...

    • CHAPTER 7 Mixed Interactions
      (pp. 253-295)

      Species exhibiting ontogenetic niche shifts may be feeding at a different trophic level in different phases of their life history and can hence be considered omnivores. This will hold in particular for predator species that start to prey on other species later in life. In the previous chapter we already studied the consequences of this type of ontogenetic diet shift in predator life history for community structure. Predators were assumed to feed as juveniles on a basic resource, while switching partially or completely to preying on consumers as an adult. Juvenile predators and consumers were feeding on different resources, and...

    • CHAPTER 8 Ontogenetic Niche Shifts, Predators, and Coexistence among Consumer Species
      (pp. 296-326)

      So far we have considered the effects of stage structure within consumer species on the persistence of one or several predator species (chapters 4, 5) and the effects of stage structure and ontogenetic niche shifts in predator species on predator-consumer coexistence (chapters 6, 7). In this chapter we will shift our focus to consider the effects of consumer stage structure on coexistence of different consumer species. The question of under what conditions consumers that share resources may coexist is one of the fundamental questions in ecology, going back to the classical experiments by Gause (1934) and the theoretical explorations by...


    • CHAPTER 9 Dynamics of Consumer-Resource Systems
      (pp. 329-360)

      In previous chapters we have in depth covered the implications of ontogenetic development for community structure. One major aspect that we have considered is how food-dependent development may give rise to alternative stable states of communities. A major insight from these chapters is that an understanding of community structure and dynamics can be gained by considering stage-dependent competitive ability and its relationship to development control versus reproduction control. In this and the following two chapters we will shift our focus to consider the effects of ontogenetic development on the dynamics of populations. Our aim is to show how the insights...

    • CHAPTER 10 Dynamics of Consumer-Resource Systems with Discrete Reproduction: Multiple Resources and Confronting Model Predictions with Empirical Data
      (pp. 361-390)

      So far, we considered consumer-resource dynamics under the assumption that all ecological processes such as foraging, metabolism, mortality, and reproduction take place on the same (continuous) time scale. By doing this, we could stringently link models in previous chapters that focused on community structure to fully structured models that focused on population dynamics. In this chapter, we take one step further with respect to complexity by allowing processes to take place at different time scales. More specifically, we consider models where processes like foraging, metabolism, and mortality are continuous whereas reproduction is assumed to take place as a discrete event...

    • CHAPTER 11 Cannibalism in Size-Structured Systems
      (pp. 391-422)

      In the previous two chapters, we discussed how the size scaling of foraging and metabolic rates affect the dynamics of consumer-resource systems. Using different modeling approaches, we showed that stage-dependent competitive ability (given byqor CRD) was the main predictor of population dynamics; that is, it largely set the conditions for different types of cycles to occur. The results obtained concerning consumer-resource dynamics also connected to the insights gained in chapter 3 about reproduction and development control. In this chapter, we add another intraspecific interaction on top of the consumer-resource system, namely, cannibalism. As in chapter 10, we will...


    • CHAPTER 12 Demand-Driven Systems, Model Hierarchies, and Ontogenetic Asymmetry
      (pp. 425-450)

      In chapter 2, we stated our aim to investigate the effects of ontogenetic growth on population and community dynamics from an individual-based perspective. Specifically, we used Metz and Diekmann’s (1986) distinction between the individual (i) state, the population (p) state, and the condition of the environment as the point of departure for studying ecological processes (the population dynamical triad in figure 2.1). Looking back at the preceding chapters, it is apparent that all models presented in this book fit into the same individual-based framework. Depending on the questions we have raised, the complexity of the models we have used has...

  8. Technical Appendices
    (pp. 451-504)
  9. References
    (pp. 505-524)
  10. Index
    (pp. 525-536)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 537-539)