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Predator/Prey Relations

Predator/prey relations refer to the population dynamics between any heterotrophic species (consumers) and the species that it feeds on. The term “predator” in this usage refers to primary consumers (herbivores) as well as secondary and tertiary consumers (carnivores, top carnivores, and omnivores). The concept is crucial to understanding species demography, trophic hierarchies, ecosystem stability, and biodiversity conservation.

The works of Lotka and Volterra during the 1920s form the basis of much subsequent work. Lotka examined the competitive interactions between species, both in terms of intertrophic competition but also with competition between species for similar resources (interference), in terms of the laws of thermodynamics, bringing the concept of energy flow and efficiency into synthesis with Darwninian competition. This was further elaborated upon by Lindemann, Elton, and MacArthur ...

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