Introduction to Two Species Models: Predator-Prey

  • James C. Frauenthal
Part of the The Umap Expository Monograph Series book series (UMAP)


No species of animal lives in complete isolation. Since all animals must eat to live, all must interact, if not with other animals, then with plants. The model which we will build and then study considers the situation where one animal population serves as food for another. We will stylize the discussion by thinking of the predators as foxes, and the prey as rabbits. Note that the predators could equally well be rabbits and the “prey” lettuce. The important point is that the one species serves as the food for the other, and both grow according to some reasonable set of biological laws. The model is somewhat unrealistic in that few ecological systems are so simple as to have just two species present.


Equilibrium Point Intrinsic Rate Scale Insect Rabbit Population Ladybird Beetle 
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  1. Kemeny, J.G. and J.L. Snell, Mathematical Models in the Social Sciences, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1972.MATHGoogle Scholar
  2. Wilson, E.O. and W.H. Bossert, A Primer of Population Biology, Sinauer Associates, Stamford, CT., 1971.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Education Development Center, Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Frauenthal
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mathematics and StatisticsState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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