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Food-web structure mediates dramatic effects of biodiversity loss including secondary and 'cascading' extinctions. We studied these effects by simulating primary species loss in 16 food webs from terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and measuring robustness in terms of the secondary extinctions that followed. As observed in other networks, food webs are more(More)
Networks from a wide range of physical, biological, and social systems have been recently described as "small-world" and "scale-free." However, studies disagree whether ecological networks called food webs possess the characteristic path lengths, clustering coefficients, and degree distributions required for membership in these classes of networks. Our(More)
Classic local stability theory predicts that complex ecological networks are unstable and are unlikely to persist despite empiricists' abundant documentation of such complexity in nature. This contradiction has puzzled biologists for decades. While some have explored how stability may be achieved in small modules of a few interacting species, rigorous(More)
To predict sewage influent and effluent concentrations of the steroid estrogens 17beta-estradiol, estrone, and 17alpha-ethinylestradiol, a review of human excretion was carried out. This included conjugation and metabolism of the natural and synthetic steroid estrogens within the body, together with quantities excreted in the urine and feces by different(More)
While trophic levels have found broad application throughout ecology, they are also in much contention on analytical and empirical grounds. Here, we use a new generation of data and theory to examine long-standing questions about trophic-level limits and degrees of omnivory. The data include food webs of the Chesapeake Bay, U.S.A., the island of Saint(More)
It has been suggested that differences in body size between consumer and resource species may have important implications for interaction strengths, population dynamics, and eventually food web structure, function, and evolution. Still, the general distribution of consumer-'resource body-size ratios in real ecosystems, and whether they vary systematically(More)
Water samples were collected in spring, summer, and winter from English rivers in urban/industrial (River Aire and River Calder, Yorkshire, UK) and rural environments (River Thames, Oxfordshire, UK) to study the biodegradation potential of the key steroid estrogen 17beta-estradiol (E2) and its synthetic derivate ethinylestradiol (EE2). Microorganisms in the(More)
Darwin's classic image of an "entangled bank" of interdependencies among species has long suggested that it is difficult to predict how the loss of one species affects the abundance of others. We show that for dynamical models of realistically structured ecological networks in which pair-wise consumer-resource interactions allometrically scale to the (3/4)(More)
In April 1996, laboratory testing of imported nonhuman primates (as mandated by quarantine regulations) identified 2 cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) infected with Ebola (subtype Reston) virus in a US-registered quarantine facility. The animals were part of a shipment of 100 nonhuman primates recently imported from the Philippines. Two additional(More)