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The dimensionality of ecological networks

AutorEklöf, Anna; Castro-Urgal, Rocío ; Allesina, Stefano
Palabras claveSpecies traits
Food web structure
Niche space
Ecological networks
Fecha de publicación26-feb-2013
EditorBlackwell Publishing
CitaciónEcology Letters 16(5): 577-583 (2013)
ResumenHow many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unanswered question originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding what determines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks, including food webs, antagonistic and mutualistic networks, and find that the number of dimensions needed to completely explain all interactions is small (< 10), with model selection favouring less than five. Using 18 high-quality webs including several species traits, we identify which traits contribute the most to explaining network structure. We show that accounting for a few traits dramatically improves our understanding of the structure of ecological networks. Matching traits for resources and consumers, for example, fruit size and bill gape, are the most successful combinations. These results link ecologically important species attributes to large-scale community structure. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
DescripciónAnna Eklöf et al.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12081
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1111/ele.12081
issn: 1461-023X
Aparece en las colecciones: (IMEDEA) Artículos
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