How to manage nature? Strategies, predator-prey models, and chaos

R. Quentin Grafton, J. Silva-Echenique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model exemplifies the implicit and explicit assumptions managers often have regarding species interaction - populations are stable or fluctuate periodically. The reality is often much more complicated and there is overwhelming evidence that many populations fluctuate in a nonperiodic way. Using a discrete predator-prey model that generates chaos, it is possible to qualitatively mimic the interaction of some predator-prey populations. The implications of the paper are that managers should place greater emphasis on theoretical modeling and simulations, try to understand ecosystems and broad relationships between species rather than obtain minute details and data on individual populations, make management as flexible as possible to help people adjust to rapid changes in populations, employ mixed strategies so as to give options whatever the underlying dynamics, and, where appropriate, experiment with different strategies for different subpopulations to learn more about the effectiveness of alternative management approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-143
Number of pages17
JournalMarine Resource Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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