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  • 1.
    Borrvall, Charlotte
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Ebenman, Bo
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Early onset of secondary extinctions in ecological communities following the loss of top predators2006In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 435-442Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The large vulnerability of top predators to human-induced disturbances on ecosystems is a matter of growing concern. Because top predators often exert strong influence on their prey populations their extinction can have far-reaching consequences for the structure and functioning of ecosystems. It has, for example, been observed that the local loss of a predator can trigger a cascade of secondary extinctions. However, the time lags involved in such secondary extinctions remain unexplored. Here we show that the loss of a top predator leads to a significantly earlier onset of secondary extinctions in model communities than does the loss of a species from other trophic levels. Moreover, in most cases time to secondary extinction increases with increasing species richness. If local secondary extinctions occur early they are less likely to be balanced by immigration of species from local communities nearby. The implications of these results for community persistence and conservation priorities are discussed.

  • 2.
    Cirtwill, Alyssa
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Eklöf, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Feeding environment and other traits shape species roles in marine food webs2018In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 21, no 6, p. 875-884Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Food webs and meso-scale motifs allow us to understand the structure of ecological communities and define species roles within them. This species-level perspective on networks permits tests for relationships between species traits and their patterns of direct and indirect interactions. Such relationships could allow us to predict food-web structure based on more easily obtained trait information. Here, we calculated the roles of species (as vectors of motif position frequencies) in six well-resolved marine food webs and identified the motif positions associated with the greatest variation in species roles. We then tested whether the frequencies of these positions varied with species traits. Despite the coarse-grained traits we used, our approach identified several strong associations between traits and motifs. Feeding environment was a key trait in our models and may shape species roles by affecting encounter probabilities. Incorporating environment into future food-web models may improve predictions of an unknown network structure.

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  • 3.
    Clark, Adam Thomas
    et al.
    UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany; Karl Franzens Univ Graz, Austria; German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany.
    Arnoldi, Jean-Francois
    Trinity Coll Dublin, Ireland.
    Zelnik, Yuval R.
    Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Sweden; CNRS, France.
    Barabas, György
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. MTA ELTE Theoret Biol & Evolutionary Ecol Res Gr, Hungary.
    Hodapp, Dorothee
    Helmholtz Inst Funct Marine Biodivers HIFMB, Germany; Helmholtz Ctr Polar & Marine Res AWI, Germany.
    Karakoc, Canan
    German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany; UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Koenig, Sara
    UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Radchuk, Viktoriia
    Leibniz Inst Zoo & Wildlife Res IZW, Germany.
    Donohue, Ian
    Trinity Coll Dublin, Ireland.
    Huth, Andreas
    UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Jacquet, Claire
    Univ Zurich, Switzerland; Eawag, Switzerland.
    de Mazancourt, Claire
    CNRS, France.
    Mentges, Andrea
    German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany; Martin Luther Univ Halle Wittenberg, Germany.
    Nothaass, Dorian
    UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany; UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Shoemaker, Lauren G.
    Univ Wyoming, WY 82071 USA.
    Taubert, Franziska
    UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Wiegand, Thorsten
    German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany; UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Wang, Shaopeng
    Peking Univ, Peoples R China; Peking Univ, Peoples R China.
    Chase, Jonathan M.
    German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany; Univ Wyoming, WY 82071 USA.
    Loreau, Michel
    CNRS, France.
    Harpole, Stanley
    UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany; German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany; Martin Luther Univ Halle Wittenberg, Germany.
    General statistical scaling laws for stability in ecological systems2021In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 24, no 7, p. 1474-1486Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological stability refers to a family of concepts used to describe how systems of interacting species vary through time and respond to disturbances. Because observed ecological stability depends on sampling scales and environmental context, it is notoriously difficult to compare measurements across sites and systems. Here, we apply stochastic dynamical systems theory to derive general statistical scaling relationships across time, space, and ecological level of organisation for three fundamental stability aspects: resilience, resistance, and invariance. These relationships can be calibrated using random or representative samples measured at individual scales, and projected to predict average stability at other scales across a wide range of contexts. Moreover deviations between observed vs. extrapolated scaling relationships can reveal information about unobserved heterogeneity across time, space, or species. We anticipate that these methods will be useful for cross-study synthesis of stability data, extrapolating measurements to unobserved scales, and identifying underlying causes and consequences of heterogeneity.

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  • 4.
    De Laender, Frederik
    et al.
    Univ Namur, Belgium.
    Carpentier, Camille
    Univ Namur, Belgium.
    Carletti, Timoteo
    Univ Namur, Belgium.
    Song, Chuliang
    Princeton Univ, NJ USA.
    Rumschlag, Samantha L.
    Univ Notre Dame, IN USA.
    Mahon, Michael B.
    Univ Notre Dame, IN USA.
    Simonin, Marie
    Univ Angers, France.
    Meszena, Geza
    Eotvos Lorand Univ, Hungary; Ctr Ecol Res, Hungary.
    Barabas, György
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Ecological and Environmental Modeling. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Ctr Ecol Res, Hungary.
    Mean species responses predict effects of environmental change on coexistence2023In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 26, no 9, p. 1535-1547Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental change research is plagued by the curse of dimensionality: the number of communities at risk and the number of environmental drivers are both large. This raises the pressing question if a general understanding of ecological effects is achievable. Here, we show evidence that this is indeed possible. Using theoretical and simulation-based evidence for bi- and tritrophic communities, we show that environmental change effects on coexistence are proportional to mean species responses and depend on how trophic levels on average interact prior to environmental change. We then benchmark our findings using relevant cases of environmental change, showing that means of temperature optima and of species sensitivities to pollution predict concomitant effects on coexistence. Finally, we demonstrate how to apply our theory to the analysis of field data, finding support for effects of land use change on coexistence in natural invertebrate communities.

    The full text will be freely available from 2024-06-20 14:42
  • 5.
    Eklöf, Anna
    et al.
    Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL,USA.
    Jacob, Ute
    Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, Hamburg, Germany.
    Kopp, Jason
    Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL,USA.
    Bosch, Jordi
    CREAF – Ecology Unit, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
    Castro-Urgal, Rocio
    Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avanc¸ats (CSIC-UIB), Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.
    Chacoff, Natacha P.
    Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Aridas, CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina.
    Dalsgaard, Bo
    Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    de Sassi, Claudio
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Canterbury, New Zealand.
    Galetti, Mauro
    Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Rio Claro, Brazil.
    Guimaraes, Paulo R.
    Departamento de Ecologia, I.B, Universidade de S~ao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    Lomascolo, Silvia Beatriz
    Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Aridas, CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina, Instituto de Ciencias Basicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina .
    Martin Gonzales, Ana M.
    Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab, Berkeley, CA, USA .
    Pizo, Marco Aurelio
    Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, S~ao Paulo, Brazil.
    Rader, Romina
    Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Rodrigo, Anselm
    CREAF – Ecology Unit, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
    Tylianakis, Jason M.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Canterbury, New Zealand.
    Vásquez, Diego P.
    Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Aridas, CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina, Instituto de Ciencias Basicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina.
    Allesina, Stefano
    Department of Ecology & Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL,USA, Computation Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, USA .
    The dimensionality of ecological networks2013In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 577-583Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unansweredquestion originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding whatdetermines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks, including food webs,antagonistic and mutualistic networks, and find that the number of dimensions needed to completelyexplain all interactions is small ( < 10), with model selection favouring less than five. Using 18 high-qualitywebs including several species traits, we identify which traits contribute the most to explaining networkstructure. We show that accounting for a few traits dramatically improves our understanding of the structureof ecological networks. Matching traits for resources and consumers, for example, fruit size and billgape, are the most successful combinations. These results link ecologically important species attributes tolarge-scale community structure.

  • 6.
    Guo, Guanming
    et al.
    Jiangxi Normal Univ, Peoples R China.
    Barabas, György
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Ecological and Environmental Modeling. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Ctr Ecol Res, Hungary.
    Takimoto, Gaku
    Univ Tokyo, Japan.
    Bearup, Daniel
    Univ Kent, England.
    Fagan, William F.
    Univ Maryland, MD USA.
    Chen, Dongdong
    Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China.
    Liao, Jinbao
    Jiangxi Normal Univ, Peoples R China; Yunnan Univ, Peoples R China; Ziyang Rd 99, Peoples R China.
    Towards a mechanistic understanding of variation in aquatic food chain length2023In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 26, no 11, p. 1926-1939Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecologists have long sought to understand variation in food chain length (FCL) among natural ecosystems. Various drivers of FCL, including ecosystem size, resource productivity and disturbance, have been hypothesised. However, when results are aggregated across existing empirical studies from aquatic ecosystems, we observe mixed FCL responses to these drivers. To understand this variability, we develop a unified competition-colonisation framework for complex food webs incorporating all of these drivers. With competition-colonisation tradeoffs among basal species, our model predicts that increasing ecosystem size generally results in a monotonic increase in FCL, while FCL displays non-linear, oscillatory responses to resource productivity or disturbance in large ecosystems featuring little disturbance or high productivity. Interestingly, such complex responses mirror patterns in empirical data. Therefore, this study offers a novel mechanistic explanation for observed variations in aquatic FCL driven by multiple environmental factors.

    The full text will be freely available from 2024-09-11 09:28
  • 7.
    Haeussler, Johanna
    et al.
    German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv, Germany; Friedrich Schiller Univ Jena, Germany.
    Barabas, György
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. MTA ELTE Theoret Biol & Evolutionary Ecol Res Grp, Hungary.
    Eklöf, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    A Bayesian network approach to trophic metacommunities shows that habitat loss accelerates top species extinctions2020In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 23, p. 1849-1861Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We develop a novel approach to analyse trophic metacommunities, which allows us to explore how progressive habitat loss affects food webs. Our method combines classic metapopulation models on fragmented landscapes with a Bayesian network representation of trophic interactions for calculating local extinction rates. This means that we can repurpose known results from classic metapopulation theory for trophic metacommunities, such as ranking the habitat patches of the landscape with respect to their importance to the persistence of the metacommunity as a whole. We use this to study the effects of habitat loss, both on model communities and the plant-mammal Serengeti food web dataset as a case study. Combining straightforward parameterisability with computational efficiency, our method permits the analysis of species-rich food webs over large landscapes, with hundreds or even thousands of species and habitat patches, while still retaining much of the flexibility of explicit dynamical models.

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  • 8.
    Ohlsson, Mikael
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Eklöf, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Spatial resolution and location impact group structure in a marine food web2020In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 23, no 10, p. 1451-1459Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological processes in food webs depend on species interactions. By identifying broad-scaled interaction patterns, important information on species ecological roles may be revealed. Here, we use the group model to examine how spatial resolution and proximity influence group structure. We examine a data set from the Barents Sea, with food webs described for both the whole region and 25 subregions. We test how the group structure in the networks differ comparing (1) the regional metaweb to subregions and (2) subregion to subregion. We find that more than half the species in the metaweb change groups when compared to subregions. Between subregions, networks with similar group structure are spatially related. Interestingly, although species overlap is important for similarity in group structure, there are notable exceptions. Our results highlight that species ecological roles vary depending on fine-scaled differences in the patterns of interactions, and that local network characteristics are important to consider.

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  • 9.
    Riede, James O.
    et al.
    J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Systemic Conservation Biology Group, Georg-August University Goettingen, Germany.
    Brose, Ulrich
    J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Systemic Conservation Biology Group, Georg-August University Goettingen, Germany.
    Ebenman, Bo
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Jakob, Ute
    Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University Hamburg, Germany.
    Thompson, Ross
    School of Biological Sciences, Monash Univerity, Australia.
    Townsend, Colin R.
    Department of Zoology, University of Otago, New Zealand.
    Jonsson, Tomas
    Ecological Modelling Group, Systems Biology Research Centre, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    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 (Other academic)
    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 endothermvertebrates) from 35 food-webs (marine, stream, lake and terrestrial). Across all ecosystem and predator types, except for streams (whichappear to have a different size structure in their predator–prey interactions), we find that (1) geometric mean prey mass increases withpredator mass with a power-law exponent greater than unity and (2) predator size increases with trophic level. Consistent with ourtheoretical derivations, we show that the quantitative nature of these relationships implies systematic decreases in predator–prey bodymassratios with the trophic level of the predator. Thus, predators are, on an average, more similar in size to their prey at the top of foodwebsthan that closer to the base. These findings contradict the traditional Eltonian paradigm and have implications for our understandingof body-mass constraints on food-web topology, community dynamics and stability.

  • 10.
    Sentis, Arnaud
    et al.
    University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic; Biol Centre AS CR, Czech Republic; University of Toulouse III, France.
    Binzer, Amrei
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Max Planck Institute Evolutionary Biol, Germany.
    Boukal, David S.
    University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic; Biol Centre AS CR, Czech Republic.
    Temperature-size responses alter food chain persistence across environmental gradients2017In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 20, no 7, p. 852-862Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Body-size reduction is a ubiquitous response to global warming alongside changes in species phenology and distributions. However, ecological consequences of temperature-size (TS) responses for community persistence under environmental change remain largely unexplored. Here, we investigated the interactive effects of warming, enrichment, community size structure and TS responses on a three-species food chain using a temperature-dependent model with empirical parameterisation. We found that TS responses often increase community persistence, mainly by modifying consumer-resource size ratios and thereby altering interaction strengths and energetic efficiencies. However, the sign and magnitude of these effects vary with warming and enrichment levels, TS responses of constituent species, and community size structure. We predict that the consequences of TS responses are stronger in aquatic than in terrestrial ecosystems, especially when species show different TS responses. We conclude that considering the links between phenotypic plasticity, environmental drivers and species interactions is crucial to better predict global change impacts on ecosystem diversity and stability.

  • 11.
    Weiss-Lehman, Christopher P.
    et al.
    Univ Wyoming, WY 82071 USA.
    Werner, Chhaya M.
    Univ Wyoming, WY 82071 USA.
    Bowler, Catherine H.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Hallett, Lauren M.
    Univ Oregon, OR 97403 USA; Univ Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
    Mayfield, Margaret M.
    Univ Queensland, Australia.
    Godoy, Oscar
    Univ Cadiz, Spain.
    Aoyama, Lina
    Univ Oregon, OR 97403 USA; Univ Oregon, OR 97403 USA.
    Barabas, György
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Chu, Chengjin
    Sun Yat Sen Univ, Peoples R China; Sun Yat Sen Univ, Peoples R China.
    Ladouceur, Emma
    German Ctr Integrat Biodivers Res iDiv Leipzig Ha, Germany; UFZ Helmholtz Ctr Environm Res, Germany.
    Larios, Loralee
    Univ Calif Riverside, CA 92521 USA.
    Shoemaker, Lauren G.
    Univ Wyoming, WY 82071 USA.
    Disentangling key species interactions in diverse and heterogeneous communities: A Bayesian sparse modelling approach2022In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 25, no 5, p. 1263-1276Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modelling species interactions in diverse communities traditionally requires a prohibitively large number of species-interaction coefficients, especially when considering environmental dependence of parameters. We implemented Bayesian variable selection via sparsity-inducing priors on non-linear species abundance models to determine which species interactions should be retained and which can be represented as an average heterospecific interaction term, reducing the number of model parameters. We evaluated model performance using simulated communities, computing out-of-sample predictive accuracy and parameter recovery across different input sample sizes. We applied our method to a diverse empirical community, allowing us to disentangle the direct role of environmental gradients on species intrinsic growth rates from indirect effects via competitive interactions. We also identified a few neighbouring species from the diverse community that had non-generic interactions with our focal species. This sparse modelling approach facilitates exploration of species interactions in diverse communities while maintaining a manageable number of parameters.

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  • 12.
    Zhang, Helin
    et al.
    Jiangxi Normal Univ, Peoples R China.
    Bearup, Daniel
    Univ Kent, England.
    Nijs, Ivan
    Univ Antwerp, Belgium.
    Wang, Shaopeng
    Peking Univ, Peoples R China.
    Barabas, György
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. MTA ELTE Theoret Biol & Evolutionary Ecol Res Grp, Hungary.
    Tao, Yi
    Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China; Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Peoples R China.
    Liao, Jinbao
    Jiangxi Normal Univ, Peoples R China.
    Dispersal network heterogeneity promotes species coexistence in hierarchical competitive communities2021In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 50-59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Understanding the mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance is a fundamental issue in ecology. The possibility that species disperse within the landscape along differing paths presents a relatively unexplored mechanism by which diversity could emerge. By embedding a classical metapopulation model within a network framework, we explore how access to different dispersal networks can promote species coexistence. While it is clear that species with the same demography cannot coexist stably on shared dispersal networks, we find that coexistence is possible on unshared networks, as species can surprisingly form self-organised clusters of occupied patches with the most connected patches at the core. Furthermore, a unimodal biodiversity response to an increase in species colonisation rates or average patch connectivity emerges in unshared networks. Increasing network size also increases species richness monotonically, producing characteristic species-area curves. This suggests that, in contrast to previous predictions, many more species can co-occur than the number of limiting resources.

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