This module introduces the Lotka-Volterra Model in the context of understanding interspecific competition. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.
Student Introduction: Interspecific competition refers to the competition between two or more species for some limiting resource. This limiting resource can be food or nutrients, space, mates, nesting sites-- anything for which demand is greater than supply. When one species is a better competitor, interspecific competition negatively influences the other species by reducing population sizes and/or growth rates, which in turn affects the population dynamics of the competitor. The Lotka-Volterra model of interspecific competition is a simple mathematical model that can be used to understand how different factors affect the outcomes of competitive interactions.
Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
- Gross, L., Beals, M., Harrell, S. (2019). Interspecific Competition: the Lotka-Volterra Model. Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/Q4943N