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T. Okuyama National Taiwan University Department of Entomology No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd. Taipei 106 Taiwan

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Functional response describes the rate at which a predator consumes prey. Handling time, duration that a predator spends on a captured prey for the consumption, is one of the parameters of many functional response models. Although models typically assume that handling time is static, most empirical studies that directly quantified the relationship between handling time and prey density show that handling time decreases with prey density. In this study, I compare a community model that employs density-dependent handling time and a model with static handling time for their responses to enrichment. The density-dependent handling time is derived by assuming that predators adjust handling time to maximize their fitness. I show that the model with adaptive handling time is more robust to enrichment than the model with static handling time at realistic parameter values. Although community response to enrichment is used as an illustrative example, density-dependent handling time is a common empirical observation and would have general implications to ecological dynamics.

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Community Ecology
Language English
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2000
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ISSN 1585-8553 (Print)
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