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Why plankton modelers should reconsider using rectangular hyperbolic (Michaelis-Menten, Monod) descriptions of predator-prey interactions

Flynn, Kevin J. and Mitra, Aditee 2016. Why plankton modelers should reconsider using rectangular hyperbolic (Michaelis-Menten, Monod) descriptions of predator-prey interactions. Frontiers in Marine Science 3 , 165. 10.3389/fmars.2016.00165

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Rectangular hyperbolic type 2 (RHt2; Michaelis-Menten or Monod-like) functions are commonly used to describe predation kinetics in plankton models, either alone or together with a prey selectivity algorithm deploying the same half-saturation constant for all prey types referenced to external prey biomass abundance. We present an analysis that indicates that such descriptions are liable to give outputs that are not plausible according to encounter theory. This is especially so for multi-prey type applications or where changes are made to the maximum feeding rate during a simulation. The RHt2 approach also gives no or limited potential for descriptions of events such as true de-selection of prey, effects of turbulence on encounters, or changes in grazer motility with satiation. We present an alternative, which carries minimal parameterization effort and computational cost, linking allometric algorithms relating prey abundance and encounter rates to a prey-selection function controlled by satiation. The resultant Satiation-Controlled-Encounter-Based (SCEB) function provides a flexible construct describing numeric predator-prey interactions with biomass-feedback control of grazing. The SCEB function includes an attack component similar to that in the Holling disk equation but SCEB differs in having only a single (satiation-based) handling constant and an explicit maximum grazing rate. We argue that there is no justification for continuing to deploy RHt2 functions to describe plankton predator-prey interactions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Publisher: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2296-7745
Date of Acceptance: 25 August 2016
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 15:53

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