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A Microfoundation of Predator-Prey Dynamics

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Abstract

Predator-prey relationships account for an important part of all interactions between species. In this paper we provide a microfoundation for such predator-prey relations in a food chain. Basic entities of our analysis are representative organisms of species modelled similar to economic households. With prices as indicators of scarcity, organisms are assumed to behave as if they maximize their net biomass subject to constraints which express the organisms' risk of being preyed upon during predation. Like consumers, organisms face a 'budget constraint' requiring their expenditure on prey biomass not to exceed their revenue from supplying own biomass. Short-run ecosystem equilibria are defined and derived. The net biomass acquired by the representative organism in the short term determines the positive or negative population growth. Moving short-run equilibria constitute the dynamics of the predator-prey relations that are characterized in numerical analysis. The population dynamics derived here turn out to differ significantly from those assumed in the standard Lotka-Volterra model.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2003. "A Microfoundation of Predator-Prey Dynamics," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 110-03, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  • Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:110-03
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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-siegen.de/vwl/repec/sie/papers/110-03.pdf
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    1. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2003. "The impact of scarcity and abundance in food chains on species population dynamics," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 109-03, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    2. Thomas Crocker & John Tschirhart, 1992. "Ecosystems, externalities, and economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(6), pages 551-567, November.
    3. Finnoff, David & Tschirhart, John, 2003. "Harvesting in an eight-species ecosystem," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 589-611, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christiaans, Thomas & Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2007. "Optimal pest control in agriculture," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3965-3985, December.
    2. Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2006. "Economic land use, ecosystem services and microfounded species dynamics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 707-720, November.
    3. John Tschirhart, 2012. "Biology as a Source of Non-convexities in Ecological Production Functions," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(2), pages 189-213, February.
    4. Thomas Christiaans & Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2005. "A micro-level ‘consumer approach’ to species population dynamics," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 123-05, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    5. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2006. "Efficient nonanthropocentric nature protection," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 26(1), pages 47-74, January.
    6. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2007. "Harvesting in an integrated general equilibrium model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 233-252, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    organism; biomass; species; population; predator-prey dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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