Community Organization Under Predator-Prey Coevolution

  • Joel S. Brown
Part of the Mathematical Modelling book series (MMO, volume 6)


Here, I consider a simple predator-prey model of coevolution. The number of species comprising the ESS is influenced by a parameter that determines the predator’s niche breadth. Depending upon the parameter’s value the evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS) may contain any number of prey and predator species. Evolutionarily, these different ESS’s all emerge from the same model Ecologically, however, these ESS’s result in very different patterns of community organization. In all cases, the removal of a species from the community results in evolutionary instability. However, from the perspective of the human lifetime this may never be perceived. The removal of a species also has ecological implications in that, depending upon the ESS, some species are keystone. Hence, to understand and effectively manage different communities, we may need to know as much about the evolutionary as the ecological contexts of the constituent species.


Prey Species Candidate Solution Predator Species Niche Breadth Evolutionary Game Theory 
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© Birkhäuser Boston 1990

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  • Joel S. Brown

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