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Size-based food web characteristics govern the response to species extinctions
J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany.
J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany.
J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany.
Ecology and Ecological Modelling, University of Potsdam, Germany.
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2011 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, E-ISSN 1618-0089, Vol. 12, no 7, 581-589 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How ecological communities react to species extinctions is a long-standing yet current question in ecology. The species constituting the basic units of ecosystems interact with each other forming complex networks of trophic relationships and the characteristics of these networks are highly important for the consequences of species extinction. Here we take a more general approach and analyze a broad range of network characteristics and their role in determining food web susceptibility to secondary extinctions. We extend previous studies, that have focused on the consequences of topological and dynamical foodweb parameters for food web robustness, by also defining network-wide characteristics depending on the relationships between the distribution of species body masses and other species characteristics. We use a bioenergetic dynamical model to simulate realistically structured model food webs that differ in their structural and dynamical properties as well as their size structure. In order to measure food web robustness we calculated the proportion of species going secondarily extinct. A multiple regression analysis was then used to fit a general model relating the proportion of species going secondarily extinct to the measured foodweb properties. Our results show that there are multiple factors from all three groups of food web characteristics that affect foodweb robustness. However, we find the most striking effect was related to the body mass–abundance relationship which points to the importance of body mass relationships for food web stability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 12, no 7, 581-589 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73620DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2011.09.006ISI: 000299149700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-73620DiVA: diva2:475177
Note

funding agencies|ESF||

Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-10 Last updated: 2017-04-24

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Curtsdotter, Alva

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