If two microbial populations compete for a single resource in a homogeneous environment with time invariant inputs they cannot coexist indefinitely if the resource competed for is not renewed by biological activity within the system. Mathematical studies have shown that in a predator-prey system, where the resource (prey) is self-renewing, the two competitors (predators) can coexist in a limit cycle. This suggests that if the resource competed for is renewed by biological activity within the system coexistence can occur in any microbial system provided that it exhibits the same features as, but without being, a predator-prey one. A food chain involving commensalism, competition and amensalism is presented here. Two subcases are considered. It is only when maintenance effects are taken into account that coexistence, in limit cycles, can occur for this system. Limit cycle solutions for the system are demonstrated with the help of computer simulations. Some necessary conditions for coexistence are presented, as are some speculations regarding the possible physical explanations of the results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Environmental Science(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Computational Theory and Mathematics