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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)
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)
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)
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)
Ecological surprises, substantial and unanticipated changes in the abundance of one or more species that result from previously unsuspected processes, are a common outcome of both experiments and observations in community and population ecology. Here, we give examples of such surprises along with the results of a survey of well-established field ecologists,(More)
Predators sometimes provide biotic resistance against invasions by nonnative prey. Understanding and predicting the strength of biotic resistance remains a key challenge in invasion biology. A predator's functional response to nonnative prey may predict whether a predator can provide biotic resistance against nonnative prey at different prey densities.(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)
Intraguild predation theory centres on two predictions: (i) for an omnivore and an intermediate predator (IG-prey) to coexist on shared resources, the IG-prey must be the superior resource competitor, and (ii) increasing resource productivity causes the IG-prey's equilibrium abundance to decline. I tested these predictions with a series of species-rich food(More)