In an earlier study (Holling, 1959) the basic and subsidiary components of predation were demonstrated in a predator-prey situation involving the predation of sawfly cocoons by small mammals. One of the basic components, termed the functional response, was a response of the consumption of prey by individual predators to changes of prey density, and it appeared to be at least theoretically important in population regulation: Because of this importance the functional response has been further examined in an attempt to explain its characteristics.
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