Document Detail

Biodiversity maintenance in food webs with regulatory environmental feedbacks.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17240397     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although the food web is one of the most fundamental and oldest concepts in ecology, elucidating the strategies and structures by which natural communities of species persist remains a challenge to empirical and theoretical ecologists. We show that simple regulatory feedbacks between autotrophs and their environment when embedded within complex and realistic food-web models enhance biodiversity. The food webs are generated through the niche-model algorithm and coupled with predator-prey dynamics, with and without environmental feedbacks at the autotroph level. With high probability and especially at lower, more realistic connectance levels, regulatory environmental feedbacks result in fewer species extinctions, that is, in increased species persistence. These same feedback couplings, however, also sensitize food webs to environmental stresses leading to abrupt collapses in biodiversity with increased forcing. Feedback interactions between species and their material environments anchor food-web persistence, adding another dimension to biodiversity conservation. We suggest that the regulatory features of two natural systems, deep-sea tubeworms with their microbial consortia and a soil ecosystem manifesting adaptive homeostatic changes, can be embedded within niche-model food-web dynamics.
Carey K Bagdassarian; Amy E Dunham; Christopher G Brown; Daniel Rauscher
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-12-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of theoretical biology     Volume:  245     ISSN:  0022-5193     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Theor. Biol.     Publication Date:  2007 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-03-27     Completed Date:  2007-06-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376342     Medline TA:  J Theor Biol     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  705-14     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Chemistry, College of William and Mary, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Biological
Autotrophic Processes
Extinction, Biological
Food Chain*
Models, Biological
Population Dynamics
Predatory Behavior

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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