Document Detail

Evolutionary emergence of size-structured food webs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15824324     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Explaining the structure of terrestrial and aquatic food webs remains one of the most important challenges of ecological theory. Most existing models use emergent properties of food webs, such as diversity and connectance as parameters, to determine other food-web descriptors. Lower-level processes, in particular adaptation (whether by behavioral, developmental, or evolutionary mechanisms), are usually not considered. Here, we show that complex, realistic food webs may emerge by evolution from a single ancestor based on very simple ecological and evolutionary rules. In our model, adaptation acts on body size, whose impact on the metabolism and interactions of organisms is well established. Based on parameters defined at the organism scale, the model predicts emergent properties at the food-web scale. Variations of two key parameters (width of consumption niche and competition intensity) allow very different food-web structures and functionings to emerge, which are similar to those observed in some of the best-documented food webs.
Nicolas Loeuille; Michel Loreau
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2005-04-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  102     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2005 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-04-20     Completed Date:  2005-07-06     Revised Date:  2010-09-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5761-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7625, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 Rue d'Ulm, F-75230 Paris Cedex 5, France.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Biological
Body Size
Feeding Behavior
Food Chain*
Models, Biological*

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

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