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Empirical evidence of type III functional responses and why it remains rare

Kalinkat, Gregor ; Rall, Björn C. ; Uiterwaal, Stella F. ; Uszko, Wojciech (2023)
Empirical evidence of type III functional responses and why it remains rare.
In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2023, 11
doi: 10.26083/tuprints-00023421
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Item Type: Article
Type of entry: Secondary publication
Title: Empirical evidence of type III functional responses and why it remains rare
Language: English
Date: 11 April 2023
Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Year of primary publication: 2023
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Volume of the journal: 11
Collation: 8 Seiten
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00023421
Corresponding Links:
Origin: Secondary publication DeepGreen

More than 70 years after its introduction, the framework of resource density-dependent consumption rates, also known as predator-prey functional responses, remains a core concept in population and food web ecology. Initially, three types of responses were defined: linear (type I), hyperbolic (type II), and sigmoid (type III). Due to its potential to stabilize consumer-resource population dynamics, the sigmoid type III functional response immediately became a “holy grail” in population ecology. However, experimentally proving that type III functional responses exist, whether in controlled laboratory systems or in nature, was challenging. While theoretical and practical advances make identifying type III responses easier today, decades of research have brought only a limited number of studies that provide empirical evidence for type III response curves. Here, we review this evidence from laboratory- and field-based studies published during the last two decades. We found 107 studies that reported type III responses, but these studies ranged across various taxa, interaction types, and ecosystems. To put these studies into context, we also discuss the various biological mechanisms that may lead to the emergence of type III responses. We summarize how three different and mutually independent intricacies bedevil the empirical documentation of type III responses: (1) challenges in statistical modeling of functional responses, (2) inadequate resource density ranges and spacing, and (3) biologically meaningful and realistic design of experimental arenas. Finally, we provide guidelines on how the field should move forward based on these considerations.

Uncontrolled Keywords: population dynamics, predator-prey interactions, food webs, filter feeder, resource density, stability, chaos, biodiversity
Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-234213
Classification DDC: 500 Science and mathematics > 570 Life sciences, biology
Divisions: 10 Department of Biology > Ecological Networks
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2023 11:51
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 19:05
SWORD Depositor: Deep Green
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/23421
PPN: 509036708
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