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Type I Functional Response

By Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

This module introduces the type I functional response in the context of understanding the relationship between an individual's rate of consumption and food density. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q45J0D - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms



Student Introduction: Functional responses describe the relationship between an individual’s rate of consumption and food density. They have generally been divided into three types (see TYPE II and TYPE III FUNCTIONAL RESPONSE). The type I functional response is a linear increase in consumption rate as food densities rise, until reaching a maximum consumption rate. The slope of the line is equal to the consumer’s attack rate (also called the capture or searching efficiency). Examples of this type of functional response are somewhat rare; they are most commonly found in herbivore-plant interactions, and some invertebrate predator-prey interactions.


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