A primary difference between predators and parasites is the number of victims that an individual attacks throughout a life-history stage. A key division within natural enemies is whether a successful attack eliminates the fitness of the prey or the host. A third distinctive axis for parasites is whether the host must die to further parasite development. The presence or absence of intensity-dependent pathology is a fourth factor that separates macroparasites from microparasites; this also distinguishes between social and solitary predators. Combining these four dichotomies defines seven types of parasitism, seven corresponding parasites, three forms of predation and, when one considers obligate and facultative combinations of these forms, four types of predator. Here, we argue that the energetics underlying the relative and absolute sizes of natural enemies and their victims is the primary selective factor responsible for the evolution of these different trophic strategies.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Trophic strategies, animal diversity and body size|
|Series title||Trends in Ecology and Evolution|
|Contributing office(s)||Western Ecological Research Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|