My watch list  

Paradox of enrichment

The Paradox of Enrichment is a term from population ecology coined by Michael Rosenzweig in 1973. He described an effect in six predator-prey models wherein increasing the food available to the prey caused the predator's population to destabilize.

Rosenzweig's result (Rosenzweig 1971)

Rosenzweig used ordinary differential equation models to simulate the prey population. Models only represented prey populations. Enrichment was taken to be increasing the prey carrying capacity and showing that the prey population destabilized, usually into a limit cycle.

The cycling behavior after destabilization was more thoroughly explored in a subsequent paper (May 1972) and discussion (Gilpin and Rozenzweig 1972).


  • Gilpin, Michael and Michael Rosenzweig. 1972. "Enriched Predator-Prey Systems: Theoretical Stability" Science Vol. 177, pp. 902-904.
  • May, Robert. 1972. "Limit Cycles in Predator-Prey Communities" Science Vol. 177, pp. 900-902.
  • Rosenzweig, Michael. 1971. "The Paradox of Enrichment" Science Vol. 171: pp. 385-387
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paradox_of_enrichment". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE