The effects of resource pulses are well-studied in the ecological literature, and the effects of pulses are often quite different from those of constant resource input. However, despite the large effects of bottom-up pulses, top-down pulses, such as those originating from temporal variation in predation, are largely ignored. Given the temporal variability in predation due to mobile predators, consumer aggregations, and predators with complex life histories, this variability could have important implications for our understanding of predator-prey interactions.
In this product, we are studying the effects of temporal variation in predation on prey population sizes, extinction probabilities. Pulses result in lower prey population sizes, and more frequent extinctions than continuous predation. Additionally, stochastic predation pulses lead to differnet effects than regularly spaced pulses. You can read more about our results here. We are currently in the process of expanding our model to three trophic levels so that we can test the effects of temporal variability in predation on the strength of trophic cascades.