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Natural populations consist of phenotypically diverse individuals that exhibit variation in their demographic parameters and intra- and inter-specific interactions. Recent experimental work indicates that such variation can have significant ecological effects. However, ecological models typically disregard this variation and focus instead on trait means and(More)
Studies of consumer-resource interactions suggest that individual diet specialisation is empirically widespread and theoretically important to the organisation and dynamics of populations and communities. We used weighted networks to analyze the resource use by sea otters, testing three alternative models for how individual diet specialisation may arise. As(More)
How best to predict the effects of perturbations to ecological communities has been a long-standing goal for both applied and basic ecology. This quest has recently been revived by new empirical data, new analysis methods, and increased computing speed, with the promise that ecologically important insights may be obtainable from a limited knowledge of(More)
Ecological network models and analyses are recognized as valuable tools for understanding the dynamics and resiliency of ecosystems, and for informing ecosystem-based approaches to management. However, few databases exist that can provide the life history, demographic and species interaction information necessary to parameterize ecological network models.(More)
Efforts to estimate the strength of species interactions in species-rich, reticulate food webs have been hampered by the multitude of direct and indirect interactions such systems exhibit and have been limited by an assumption that pairwise interactions display linear functional forms. Here we present a new method for directly measuring, on a per capita(More)
Over the past years several authors have used the approach of generalized modeling to study the dynamics of food chains and food webs. Generalized models come close to the efficiency of random matrix models, while being as directly interpretable as conventional differential-equation-based models. Here we present a pedagogical introduction to the approach of(More)
The complexity of food webs poses a significant hurdle for our growing understanding of the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. Empirical methods that measure the per capita strengths of trophic species interactions offer a means to identify keystone species and bridge mathematical models and data to synthesize our knowledge of population(More)
BACKGROUND Bayesian mixing models have allowed for the inclusion of uncertainty and prior information in the analysis of trophic interactions using stable isotopes. Formulating prior distributions is relatively straightforward when incorporating dietary data. However, the use of data that are related, but not directly proportional, to diet (such as prey(More)
Few methods for demonstrating the effects of species interactions rival that of the manipulative experiment (Kareiva and Levin 2002). e now commonly performed removal or addition of predators, competitors, or mutualists to experimentally replicated populations of recipient species has irrefutably shown that species can have important effects on each other's(More)
Patterns of species interactions affect the dynamics of food webs. An important component of species interactions that is rarely considered with respect to food webs is the strengths of interactions, which may affect both structure and dynamics. In natural systems, these strengths are variable, and can be quantified as probability distributions. We examined(More)