21 December 2018
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine
The development of a theory to underpin the obligate mutualist interactions that appear to be ubiquitous in nature has not proceeded at the same pace as the development of theory to support competition and predation. A constraint may be that obligate mutualism appears unable to be presented in the simple linear models that have so successfully served as heuristics for the other interactions. A number of simple nonlinear models have been used to propose explanations of obligate mutualism, but these solutions are often predicated on careful choices of functional forms. We present a theory of obligate mutualism in an explicit mass-conserving framework using simple models that are robust to choices of functional forms.
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