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A review of species role concepts in food webs
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Department of Statistics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Departamento de Ecologia Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, California, USA.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
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2018 (English)In: Food Webs, E-ISSN 2352-2496, Vol. 16, article id e00093Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many different concepts have been used to describe species' roles in food webs (i.e., the ways in which species participate in their communities as consumers and resources). As each concept focuses on a different aspect of food-web structure, it can be difficult to relate these concepts to each other and to other aspects of ecology. Here we use the Eltonian niche as an overarching framework, within which we summarize several commonly-used role concepts (degree, trophic level, motif roles, and centrality). We focus mainly on the topological versions of these concepts but, where dynamical versions of a role concept exist, we acknowledge these as well. Our aim is to highlight areas of overlap and ambiguity between different role concepts and to describe how these roles can be used to group species according to different strategies (i.e., equivalence and functional roles). The existence of “gray areas” between role concepts make it essential for authors to carefully consider both which role concept(s) are most appropriate for the analyses they wish to conduct and what aspect of species' niches (if any) they wish to address. The ecological meaning of differences between species' roles can change dramatically depending on which role concept(s) are used.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 16, article id e00093
Keywords [en]
Eltonian niche; network structure
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151262DOI: 10.1016/j.fooweb.2018.e00093Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050302164OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-151262DiVA, id: diva2:1248133
Available from: 2018-09-14 Created: 2018-09-14 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Cirtwill, Alyssa

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf