Paradox of Enrichment: Destabilization of Exploitation Ecosystems in Ecological Time

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Science  29 Jan 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3969, pp. 385-387
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3969.385


Six reasonable models of trophic exploitation in a two-species ecosystem whose exploiters compete only by depleting each other's resource supply are presented. In each case, increasing the supply of limiting nutrients or energy tends to destroy the steady state. Thus man must be very careful in attempting to enrich an ecosystem in order to increase its food yield. There is a real chance that such activity may result in decimation of the food species that are wanted in greater abundance.

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