Document Detail

Functional integration of ecological networks through pathway proliferation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17084414     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Large-scale structural patterns commonly occur in network models of complex systems including a skewed node degree distribution and small-world topology. These patterns suggest common organizational constraints and similar functional consequences. Here, we investigate a structural pattern termed pathway proliferation. Previous research enumerating pathways that link species determined that as pathway length increases, the number of pathways tends to increase without bound. We hypothesize that this pathway proliferation influences the flow of energy, matter, and information in ecosystems. In this paper, we clarify the pathway proliferation concept, introduce a measure of the node-node proliferation rate, describe factors influencing the rate, and characterize it in 17 large empirical food-webs. During this investigation, we uncovered a modular organization within these systems. Over half of the food-webs were composed of one or more subgroups that were strongly connected internally, but weakly connected to the rest of the system. Further, these modules had distinct proliferation rates. We conclude that pathway proliferation in ecological networks reveals subgroups of species that will be functionally integrated through cyclic indirect effects.
Stuart R Borrett; Brian D Fath; Bernard C Patten
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2006-09-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of theoretical biology     Volume:  245     ISSN:  0022-5193     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Theor. Biol.     Publication Date:  2007 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-02-12     Completed Date:  2007-05-21     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376342     Medline TA:  J Theor Biol     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  98-111     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30606, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Food Chain*
Models, Biological

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

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