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Predictive power of food web models based on body size decreases with trophic complexity
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. (Ekologisk modellering, Ecological Modelling Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5234-9576
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 21, no 5, p. 702-712Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food web models parameterised using body size show promise to predict trophic interaction strengths (IS) and abundance dynamics. However, this remains to be rigorously tested in food webs beyond simple trophic modules, where indirect and intraguild interactions could be important and driven by traits other than body size. We systematically varied predator body size, guild composition and richness in microcosm insect webs and compared experimental outcomes with predictions of IS from models with allometrically scaled parameters. Body size was a strong predictor of IS in simple modules (r(2)=0.92), but with increasing complexity the predictive power decreased, with model IS being consistently overestimated. We quantify the strength of observed trophic interaction modifications, partition this into density-mediated vs. behaviour-mediated indirect effects and show that model shortcomings in predicting IS is related to the size of behaviour-mediated effects. Our findings encourage development of dynamical food web models explicitly including and exploring indirect mechanisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 21, no 5, p. 702-712
Keywords [en]
Allometric trophic network model, body size ratio, indirect effects, indirect interactions, interaction strength, non-consumptive effect, predator-prey interaction, species' traits, trophic interaction modification
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecological Modelling Group; INF502 Biomarkers
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15171DOI: 10.1111/ele.12938ISI: 000430120400011PubMedID: 29575347Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044379453OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-15171DiVA, id: diva2:1210108
Available from: 2018-05-25 Created: 2018-05-25 Last updated: 2018-05-29Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Tomas

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