Copyright © 2009 Scott A. Hadley and Lawrence K. Forbes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
A theoretical model developed by Stone describing a three-level trophic system in the Ocean is analysed. The system consists of two distinct predator-prey networks, linked by competition for nutrients at the lowest level. There is also an interaction at the level of the two preys, in the sense that the presence of one is advantageous to the other when nutrients are low. It is shown that spontaneous oscillations in population numbers are possible, and that they result from a Hopf bifurcation. The limit cycles are analysed using Floquet theory and are found to change from stable to unstable as a solution branch is traversed.