Persistence in Stochastic Lotka-Volterra Food Chains with Intraspecific Competition. Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper is devoted to the analysis of a simple Lotka-Volterra food chain evolving in a stochastic environment. It can be seen as the companion paper of Hening and Nguyen (J Math Biol 76:697-754, 2018b) where we have characterized the persistence and extinction of such a food chain under the assumption that there is no intraspecific competition among predators. In the current paper, we focus on the case when all the species experience intracompetition. The food chain we analyze consists of one prey and [Formula: see text] predators. The jth predator eats the [Formula: see text]st species and is eaten by the [Formula: see text]st predator; this way each species only interacts with at most two other species-the ones that are immediately above or below it in the trophic chain. We show that one can classify, based on the invasion rates of the predators (which we can determine from the interaction coefficients of the system via an algorithm), which species go extinct and which converge to their unique invariant probability measure. We obtain stronger results than in the case with no intraspecific competition because in this setting we can make use of the general results of Hening and Nguyen (Ann Appl Probab 28:1893-1942, 2018a). Unlike most of the results available in the literature, we provide an in-depth analysis for both non-degenerate and degenerate noise. We exhibit our general results by analyzing trophic cascades in a plant-herbivore-predator system and providing persistence/extinction criteria for food chains of length [Formula: see text].

published proceedings

  • Bull Math Biol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Hening, A., & Nguyen, D. H.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Hening, Alexandru||Nguyen, Dang H

publication date

  • October 2018