Successful invasion of a food web in a chemostat
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A food web in a chemostat is considered in which an arbitrary number of competitor populations compete for a single, essential, nonreproducing, growth-limiting substrate, and an arbitrary number of predator populations prey on some or all of the competitor populations. Although any number of predator populations may prey on the same competitor population, each predator population preys on only one competitor population. The dynamics of substrate uptake is modeled by Lotka-Volterra or Michaelis-Menten (Holling type I or II), but the dynamics of competitor uptake is restricted to Lotka-Volterra. Based on certain parameters, the model predicts the asymptotic survival or extinction of each of the different populations and suggests how competitor and/or predator populations could successfully invade the chemostat with or without causing a diverse ecosystem to crash. Similarly, it suggests how the elimination of certain populations could result in a more diverse or less diverse system.
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