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  • 1.
    Borrvall, Charlotta
    et al.
    Linköping University.
    Ebenman, Bo
    Linköping University.
    Jonsson, Tomas
    Linköping University.
    Biodiversity lessens the risk of cascading extinction in model food webs2000In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 3, p. 131-136Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Jonsson, Tomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Kaartinen, Riikka
    Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Jonsson, Mattias
    Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Bommarco, Riccardo
    Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Predictive power of food web models based on body size decreases with trophic complexity2018In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 21, no 5, p. 702-712Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 3.
    Riede, Jens O.
    et al.
    J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Systemic Conservation Biology Group, Georg-August University Goettingen, 37073 Goettingen, Germany.
    Brose, Ulrich
    J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Systemic Conservation Biology Group, Georg-August University Goettingen, 37073 Goettingen, Germany.
    Ebenman, Bo
    IFM Theory and Modelling, Division of Theoretical Biology, Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden.
    Jacob, Ute
    Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University Hamburg, 22767 Hamburg, Germany.
    Thompson, Ross
    School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Bld 18, Vic. 3800, Australia.
    Townsend, Colin R.
    Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand.
    Jonsson, Tomas
    University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre.
    Stepping in Elton's footprints: a general scaling model for body masses and trophic levels across ecosystems2011In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 169-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite growing awareness of the significance of body-size and predator–prey body-mass ratios for the stability of ecological networks, our understanding of their distribution within ecosystems is incomplete. Here, we study the relationships between predator and prey size, body-mass ratios and predator trophic levels using body-mass estimates of 1313 predators (invertebrates, ectotherm and endotherm vertebrates) from 35 food-webs (marine, stream, lake and terrestrial). Across all ecosystem and predator types, except for streams (which appear to have a different size structure in their predator–prey interactions), we find that (1) geometric mean prey mass increases with predator mass with a power-law exponent greater than unity and (2) predator size increases with trophic level. Consistent with our theoretical derivations, we show that the quantitative nature of these relationships implies systematic decreases in predator–prey body-mass ratios with the trophic level of the predator. Thus, predators are, on an average, more similar in size to their prey at the top of food-webs than that closer to the base. These findings contradict the traditional Eltonian paradigm and have implications for our understanding of body-mass constraints on food-web topology, community dynamics and stability.

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