How resource phenology affects consumer population dynamics

Sharon Bewick, R. Stephen Cantrell, Chris Cosner, William F. Fagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Climate change drives uneven phenology shifts across taxa, and this can result in changes to the phenologicalmatch between interacting species. Shifts in the relative phenology of partner species are well documented, but few studies have addressed the effects of such changes on population dynamics. To explore this, we develop a phenologically explicit model describing consumer-resource interactions. Focusing on scenarios for univoltine insects, we show how changes in resource phenology can be reinterpreted as transformations in the yearto- year recursion relationships defining consumer population dynamics. This perspective provides a straightforward path for interpreting the long-term population consequences of phenology change. Specifically, by relating the outcome of phenological shifts to species traits governing recursion relationships (e.g., consumer fecundity or competitive scenario), we demonstrate how changes in relative phenology can force systems into different dynamical regimes, with major implications for resource management, conservation, and other areas of applied dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-166
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Chaos
  • Consumer-resource dynamics
  • Nonautonomous ordinary differential equation
  • Phenology mismatch
  • Recursion relationship
  • Zonneveld equation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'How resource phenology affects consumer population dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this