Population Ecology

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 191–196 | Cite as

Persistent host–parasitoid interaction caused by host maturation variability

  • Yasufumi Nakamichi
  • Yukihiko Toquenaga
  • Koichi Fujii
Original Article


The heterogeneity of parasitism risk among host individuals is a key factor for stabilizing or sustaining host–parasitoid interactions. Host maturation variability, or the variation in the maturation times among host individuals, is the simplest source of such heterogeneity, but it has often been neglected in previous theoretical studies. We developed a configuration individual-based model (cIBM) of host–parasitoid interaction to investigate to what degree of host maturation variability promotes the persistence of host–parasitoid interactions. We ran simulations with various degrees of host maturation variability for different lengths of unsusceptible period. The result showed that low host maturation variability could sustain host–parasitoid dynamics when the host-unsusceptible period was short. Conversely, high levels of variability could sustain host–parasitoid dynamics when the host-unsusceptible period was about half of the total larval period. This suggests that the balance between variability and unsusceptible period is important for the persistence of host–parasitoid interaction. We conclude that maturation variability is a factor that can contribute to the sustainment of host–parasitoid interactions.


Callosobruchus maculatus Individual-based model Temporal asynchrony 



We are grateful to the handling editor and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. This work was supported in part by Grant-in-aids for Scientific Research (14405003 to M. Shimada and 17579914 to Y. Toquenaga) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).


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Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasufumi Nakamichi
    • 1
  • Yukihiko Toquenaga
    • 1
  • Koichi Fujii
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Integrative Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan

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