Pulsed resources and community dynamics of consumers in terrestrial ecosystems

Trends Ecol Evol. 2000 Jun;15(6):232-237. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5347(00)01862-0.


Many terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by intermittent production of abundant resources for consumers, such as mast seeding and pulses of primary production following unusually heavy rains. Recent research is revealing patterns in the ways that consumer communities respond to these pulsed resources. Studies of the ramifying effects of pulsed resources on consumer communities integrate 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches to community dynamics, and illustrate how the strength of species interactions can change dramatically through time.