Variable predators and switching behavior

Peter L. Chesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Models are developed in which prey preferences vary between individual predators but the preference of an individual does not change with prey relative density. These two properties generally lead to the surprising conclusion that the aggregate preference of a population of predators does change with prey relative density. This phenomenon may result in negative or positive switching, depending on the circumstances, with negative switching being the more likely result. Such population negative switching is found in previously published experimental data. Implications are given for the analysis of ecological data, and some implications for the stability of field populations are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalTheoretical Population Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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