Is the intermediate predator a key regulator of a tri-trophic food chain model?: An illustration through a new functional response

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Chaos, Solitons and Fractals


The prey preference mechanism is a common aspect in the interactive dynamics, but this is still a debatable issue in the modern theoretical and experimental ecology for numerous species across the globe [19]. In this work, we have studied a three species predator-prey model with prey switching where top predator and intermediate predator are competed with each other for same prey. Earlier hypothetical studies predict the feeding behavior of any species that feeds on more than one trophic levels in any food chain consisting of three and more trophic levels is either stabilizing or destabilizing depending on the condition of the system. Moreover, the effect of this type of selective mechanism is yet not properly understood. In such case, it would be worthwhile to construct a new form of functional response depending upon the densities of a pair of prey and intermediate predator. In addition, we study the effect of intermediate predator through the consumption rate of top predator, which ultimately derives the new functional response and finds that the predation pressure on intermediate predator may be decreased as prey populations are abundant. During their food selection, intraspecific competition also plays a major role for the stability of the system. The theoretical illustrations have been provided by numerical simulations.



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