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Parasitoid-Host Food Webs and Donor Control

Bradford A. Hawkins
Oikos
Vol. 65, No. 1 (Oct., 1992), pp. 159-162
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3544898
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3544898
Page Count: 4
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Parasitoid-Host Food Webs and Donor Control
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Abstract

Most food web theory assumes that natural enemies have significant impacts on prey populations, i.e., natural enemies exert "top-down control". The alternative, that natural enemies have minimal effects on prey, has received much less attention, largely due to the supposition that such "donor controlled" systems are relatively rare. In this paper I argue that the condition for donor control are actually widespread in parasitoid-host systems, and that donor control may be more common than top-down control in food webs that contain half of the world's multicellular species.

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