A synthesis of subdisciplines: Predator-prey interactions, and biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Anthony R. Ives, Bradley J. Cardinale, William E. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

305 Scopus citations


The last 15 years has seen parallel surges of interest in two research areas that have rarely intersected: biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF), and multispecies predator-prey interactions (PPI). Research addressing role of biodiversity in ecosystem functioning has focused primarily on single trophic-level systems, emphasizing additive effects of diversity that manifest through resource partitioning and the sampling effect. Conversely, research addressing predator-prey interactions has focused on two trophic-level systems, emphasizing indirect and non-additive interactions among species. Here, we use a suite of consumer-resource models to organize and synthesize the ways in which consumer species diversity affects the densities of both resources and consumer species. Specifically, we consider sampling effects, resource partitioning, indirect effects caused by intraguild interactions and non-additive effects. We show that the relationship between consumer diversity and the density of resources and consumer species are broadly similar for systems with one vs. two trophic levels, and that indirect and non-additive interactions generally do little more than modify the impacts of diversity established by the sampling effect and resource partitioning. The broad similarities between systems with one vs. two trophic levels argue for greater communication between researchers studying BEF, and researchers studying multispecies PPI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-116
Number of pages15
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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