Document Detail

Interaction strength combinations and the overfishing of a marine food web.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15802468     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The stability of ecological communities largely depends on the strength of interactions between predators and their prey. Here we show that these interaction strengths are structured nonrandomly in a large Caribbean marine food web. Specifically, the cooccurrence of strong interactions on two consecutive levels of food chains occurs less frequently than expected by chance. Even when they occur, these strongly interacting chains are accompanied by strong omnivory more often than expected by chance. By using a food web model, we show that these interaction strength combinations reduce the likelihood of trophic cascades after the overfishing of top predators. However, fishing selectively removes predators that are overrepresented in strongly interacting chains. Hence, the potential for strong community-wide effects remains a threat.
Jordi Bascompte; Carlos J Melián; Enric Sala
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2005-03-31
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:  2005-04-13     Completed Date:  2005-06-03     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:  5443-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Integrative Ecology Group, Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Apartado Postal 1056, E-41080 Seville, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Fisheries* / methods,  statistics & numerical data
Fishes / physiology*
Food Chain*
Models, Biological*
Predatory Behavior / physiology*

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