It has been suggested that when juveniles and adults use different resources or habitats, alternative stable states (ASS) may exist in systems coupled by an ontogenetic niche shift. However, mainly the simplest system, i.e., the one-consumer-two-resource system, has been studied previously, and little is known about the development of ASS existing in more complex systems. Here, I theoretically investigated the development of ASS caused by an ontogenetic niche shift in the presence of multiple resource use. I considered three independent scenarios; (i) additional resources, (ii) multiple habitats, and (iii) interstage resource sharing. The model analyses illustrate that relative balance between the total resource availability in the juvenile and adult habitats is crucial for the development of ASS. This balance is determined by factors such as local habitat productivity, subsidy inputs, colonization area, and foraging mobility. Furthermore, it is also shown that interstage resource sharing generally suppresses ASS. These results suggest that the anthropogenic impacts of habitat modifications (e.g., fragmentation and destruction) or interaction modifications (e.g., changes in ontogeny and foraging behavior) propagate through space and may cause or prevent regime shifts in the regional community structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)