The predator is the population that attacks and hunts the prey population for survival. The process of predation ultimately leads to the death of the prey in cases which are either intentionally or unintentionally and also directly or indirectly undertaken by the predator. The said process then can be defined as consumption of the prey population. There are different types of predation that are undertaken by the four types of predators namely the true predators, the grazers, the parasitoids and the parasites. The said classification is based on the type of action wherein the process of predation is completed.
The process of predation can result in different effects which can either be beneficial or detrimental to the prey population, predator population and the ecosystem in general. One of the most important effects of predation is the maintenance of balance between species population by prevention of the domination of a single type of organism in a community. The said process can be attributed to the action undertaken by the predators. For that matter, predation can be beneficial to the predators. On the other hand, the prey population is the main group that can achieve the detrimental effects of the process of predation. Although this is the case, due to the interactions of the different organisms in an ecosystem as exemplified by the food web and food chain, an organism can be a prey of a larger species while at the same time a predator of a smaller species. This process of interaction is the main cause for the achievement of the ultimate balance in the ecosystem.
One of the ways to better understand the predator-prey interaction is through the use of the Lotka-Volterra model.