Document Detail

Parasites alter the topology of a stream food web across seasons.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18305960     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Relatively few published food webs have included parasites, and in this study we examined the animal community in a stream across eight contiguous seasons to test how inclusion of helminth parasites alters the topology or structure of the food web. Food webs constructed for each season and analyzed using common binary matrix measures show that species richness, linkage density, and the number of observed and possible links increased when parasites were included as individual species nodes. With parasite-parasite and predator-parasite links omitted, measures of community complexity, such as connectance (C), generally increased over multiple seasons. However, relative nestedness (n*) decreased when parasites were included, which may be a result of low resolution of basal resources inflating specialist-to-specialist links. Overall, adding parasites resulted in moderate changes in food web measures when compared to those of four other published food webs representing different ecosystems. In addition, including parasites in the food web revealed consistent pathways of energy flow, and the association of parasite life histories along these pathways suggest stable evolutionary groups of interacting species within the community.
Alexander D Hernandez; Michael V K Sukhdeo
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-02-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  156     ISSN:  0029-8549     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-05-07     Completed Date:  2008-08-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  613-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, and Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers-The State University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Acanthocephala / physiology*
Fish Diseases / parasitology*
Fishes / parasitology*
Food Chain*
Helminthiasis, Animal / parasitology*
Invertebrates / metabolism
Trematoda / physiology*

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