Key words Biological interaction
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Among many stabilizing factors for community dynamics, nonlinear biological interactions such as type III functional response have been widely considered to be major characteristics. However, most experimental biological communities employed so far had quite simple structures. Therefore, the possibility that the conclusions in earlier studies were dependent on simple community structure is undeniable. In this study, using a multiple-species experimental community, we evaluated which combinations of component species and what kinds of interspecific interactions allow communities to persist and how these contribute to community persistence. We conducted experimental communities using two species of beans, the adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) and the red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), two species of bean weevils, the Mexican bean weevil (Zabrotes subfasciatus, Coleoptera: Bruchidae) and adzuki bean weevil (Callosobruchus chinensis, Coleoptera: Bruchidae), and two species of parasitic wasp, Heterospilus prosopidis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Anisopteromalus calandrae (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). The outcome of multiple-generation experimental communities was explained by the characteristics of component species obtained from short-term experiments. In our two resources–two herbivores–one carnivore system, the strong density-dependent attack ability of one parasitic wasp species (A. calandrae) led to the extinction of C. chinensis. On the other hand, the weak density-dependent attack ability of the other parasitic wasp species (H. prosopidis) led to system persistence. Our overall results show that, in a multiple-species community, the combination of species itself is more important for community persistence than are the characteristics of the particular species.
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