Size-dependent interactions inhibit coexistence in intraguild predation systems with life-history omnivory

K.E. Van De Wolfshaar*, A.M. De Roos, L. Persson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Growth in body size during ontogeny often results in changes in diet, leading to life-history omnivory. In addition, growth is often dependent on food density. Using a physiologically structured population model, we investigated the effects of these two aspects of individual growth in a system consisting of two size-structured populations, an omnivorous top predator and an intermediate consumer. With a single shared resource for both populations, we found that life-history omnivory decreases the likelihood of coexistence between top predator and intermediate consumer in this intraguild predation (IGP) system. This result contrasts with previous unstructured models and stage-structured models without food-dependent development. Food-dependent development and size-dependent foraging abilities of the predator resulted in a positive feedback between foraging success on the shared resource at an early life stage and foraging success on the intermediate consumer later in life. By phenomenologically incorporating this feedback in an unstructured IGP model, we show that it also demotes coexistence in this simple setting, demonstrating the robustness of the negative effect of this feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-75
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Community structure
  • Intraguild predation
  • Life-history omnivory
  • Productivity gradient
  • Size-structure model

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