The Roles of Predator Prey Interactions and Density Dependence in Coexistence

Individuals in populations and communities of species can coexist provided shared resources are not in short supply. Predation is one process that precludes resource depletion and may thus facilitate coexistence. Predators may act as mediators of coexistence by harvesting all prey types equally, and so preventing resource depletion. Also, predators may switch to the most common of alternative prey types, which again will prevent competitive extinction. Lotka-Volterra predator-prey dynamics can explain coexistence of closely matched predators and prey, as seen in classic cycling of abundances of hares and lynx in Canada.

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