Positive feedback of consumer population density on resource supply

Thomas S. Bianchi, Clive G. Jones, Moshe Shachak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Recent studies demonstrate positive density-dependent feedbacks between animal populations and their resource supply that result in increased individual fitness at high densities. Such feedbacks occur in both terrestrial and aquatic organisms not showing strong social organization. A number of different mechanisms are involved. Detecting positive feedbacks in natural populations may not be possible from simple correlations between resource abundance and animal population density in space or time, but experimental manipulation of resource supply or animal density can reveal their presence. Positive feedbacks may result in higher equilibrium densities of animal populations, alter the density range over which intraspecific competition is detectable, and offer a resource-based explanation for the evolution of gregariousness and social organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-238
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989


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