Document Detail

Niche evolution, trophic structure, and species turnover in model food webs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19459779     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The features that govern the stability and persistence of species interaction networks, such as food webs, remain elusive, but recent work suggests that the distribution and strength of trophic links play an important role. Potential omnivory-stability relationships have been investigated and debated extensively, but we still have a relatively poor understanding of how levels of omnivory relate to the stability of diverse food webs. Here, we use an evolutionary assembly model to investigate how different trade-offs in resource use influence both food web structure and dynamic stability during the assembly process. We build on a previous model by allowing speciation along with the evolution of two traits: body size and feeding-niche width. Across a wide range of conditions, the level of omnivory in a food web is positively related to its dynamic instability (variability and species turnover). Parameter values favoring omnivory also allow a wider range of phenotypes to invade, often displacing existing species. This high species turnover leaves signatures in reconstructed phylogenies, with shorter branches connecting extant species in more omnivorous food webs. Our findings suggest that features of the environment may influence both trophic structure and dynamic stability, leading to emergent omnivory-stability relationships.
Travis Ingram; Luke J Harmon; Jonathan B Shurin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American naturalist     Volume:  174     ISSN:  1537-5323     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. Nat.     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-03     Completed Date:  2009-06-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2984688R     Medline TA:  Am Nat     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  56-67     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology and Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.
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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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