Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 551-567

First online:

Cannibalism in an age-structured predator-prey system

  • Frank Van den BoschAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Agricultural University of Wageningen
  • , Wilfried GabrielAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology, Zoological Institute of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich

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Recently, Kohlmeier and Ebenhöh showed that cannibalism can stabilize population cycles in a Lotka-Volterra type predator-prey model. Population cycles in their model are due to the interaction between logistic population growth of the prey and a hyperbolic functional response. In this paper, we consider a predator-prey system where cyclic population fluctuations are due to the age structure in the predator species. It is shown that cannibalism is also a stabilizing mechanism when population oscillations are due to this age structure. We conclude that in predator-prey systems, cannibalism by predators can stabilize both externally generated (consumer-resource) as well as internally generated (agestructure) fluctuations.