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Interaction strength, food web topology and the relative importance of species in food webs.
University College Cork.
University College Cork.
University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
University College Cork.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Animal Ecology, ISSN 0021-8790, E-ISSN 1365-2656, Vol. 79, no 3, 682-692 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

1. We established complex marine communities, consisting of over 100 species, in large subtidal experimental mesocosms. We measured the strength of direct interactions and the net strength of direct and indirect interactions between the species in those communities, using a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches.

2. Theoretical predictions of interaction strength were derived from the interaction coefficient matrix, which was parameterised using allometric predator–prey relationships. Empirical estimates of interaction strength were quantified using the ln-ratio, which measures the change in biomass density of species A in the presence and absence of species B.

3. We observed that highly connected species tend to have weak direct effects and net effects in our experimental food webs, whether we calculate interaction strength theoretically or empirically.

4. We found a significant correlation between our theoretical predictions and empirical estimates of direct effects and net effects. The net effects correlation was much stronger, indicating that our experimental communities were dominated by a mixture of direct and indirect effects.

5. Re-calculation of the theoretical predictions of net effects after randomising predator and prey body masses did not affect the negative relationship with connectance.

6. These results suggest that food web topology, which in this system is constrained by body mass, is overwhelmingly important for the magnitude of direct and indirect interactions and hence species importance in the face of biodiversity declines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
British Ecological Society , 2010. Vol. 79, no 3, 682-692 p.
Keyword [en]
community matrix, dynamic index, indirect effects, press perturbation, trophic links
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Natural sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-4319DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2009.01658.xISI: 000275886400020PubMedID: 20102420Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77953977995OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-4319DiVA: diva2:345398
Available from: 2010-08-25 Created: 2010-08-25 Last updated: 2012-11-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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Output format
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