Ecological networks and their fragility

@article{Montoya2006EcologicalNA,
  title={Ecological networks and their fragility},
  author={Jos{\'e} M. Montoya and Stuart L. Pimm and Ricard V. Sol{\'e}},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2006},
  volume={442},
  pages={259-264}
}
Darwin used the metaphor of a ‘tangled bank’ to describe the complex interactions between species. Those interactions are varied: they can be antagonistic ones involving predation, herbivory and parasitism, or mutualistic ones, such as those involving the pollination of flowers by insects. Moreover, the metaphor hints that the interactions may be complex to the point of being impossible to understand. All interactions can be visualized as ecological networks, in which species are linked… Expand

Figures and Topics from this paper

Plant-Animal Mutualistic Networks: The Architecture of Biodiversity
TLDR
The mutually beneficial interactions between plants and their animal pollinators and seed dispersers have been paramount in the generation of Earth's biodiversity and understanding how coevolution proceeds in these highly diversified mutualisms among free-living species presents a conceptual challenge. Expand
Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems
  • H. Olff, D. Alonso, +4 authors N. Rooney
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2009
TLDR
It is proposed that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal ‘ecological stoichiometry' axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. Expand
Ranking species in mutualistic networks
TLDR
Inspired in a recently introduced algorithm –similar in spirit to Google's PageRank but with a built-in non-linearity– here is a method which clearly outperforms other existing ranking schemes and can become very useful for ecosystem management and biodiversity preservation. Expand
The architecture of mutualistic networks minimizes competition and increases biodiversity
TLDR
It is shown that nestedness reduces effective interspecific competition and enhances the number of coexisting species, and that a nested network will naturally emerge if new species are more likely to enter the community where they have minimal competitive load. Expand
Modeling the Building Blocks of Biodiversity
TLDR
A one-dimensional “niche model” is used to predict antagonistic and mutualistic species interactions, finding that accuracy decreases with the size of the network, and properties of the modeled network structure closely approximate empirical properties even where individual interactions are poorly predicted. Expand
Ranking species in mutualistic networks
TLDR
Inspired in a recently introduced algorithm, similar in spirit to Google’s PageRank but with a built-in non-linearity, this method clearly outperforms other existing ranking schemes and can become very useful for ecosystem management and biodiversity preservation. Expand
Interspecific competition underlying mutualistic networks
TLDR
A model network in which links are assigned under generalized preferential-selection rules between two groups of nodes is studied to find the sensitive dependence of the resulting connectivity pattern on the model parameters. Expand
The architecture of mutualistic networks as an evolutionary spandrel
TLDR
It is shown that nestedness and other features of mutualistic webs are spandrels resulting from the creation of diversity through speciation-divergence dynamics, and the agreement between observed and modelled networks suggests that the patterns displayed by real mutualism webs might actually represent evolutionary spand Rels. Expand
Ecological networks--beyond food webs.
TLDR
A number of 'dead ends' and 'fruitful avenues' are suggested for future research into ecological networks by suggesting a new catalogue of evermore complete, taxonomically resolved, and quantitative data. Expand
The Robustness and Restoration of a Network of Ecological Networks
TLDR
This study succeeded in revealing which species are potential targets for restoration of ecological function in this and other systems, and identified the plant taxa that can potentially lead to disproportionate gains in biodiversity. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 102 REFERENCES
Complexity and fragility in ecological networks
  • R. Solé, M. Montoya
  • Computer Science, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
TLDR
The results suggest that ecological networks are very robust against random removals but can be extremely fragile when selective attacks are used, and have important consequences for biodiversity dynamics and conservation issues, current estimations of extinction rates and the relevance and definition of keystone species. Expand
Asymmetric Coevolutionary Networks Facilitate Biodiversity Maintenance
TLDR
By using a simple dynamical model, it is shown that asymmetries inherent in coevolutionary networks may enhance long-term coexistence and facilitate biodiversity maintenance. Expand
The nested assembly of plant–animal mutualistic networks
TLDR
It is shown that mutualistic networks are highly nested; that is, the more specialist species interact only with proper subsets of those species interacting with the more generalists, which generates highly asymmetrical interactions and organizes the community cohesively around a central core of interactions. Expand
Two degrees of separation in complex food webs
TLDR
It is shown that species within large communities from a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are on average two links apart, with >95% of species typically within three links of each other, which indicates that the dynamics of species within ecosystems may be more highly interconnected. Expand
Weak trophic interactions and the balance of nature
TLDR
The results show that weak to intermediate strength links are important in promoting community persistence and stability, and data on interaction strengths in natural food webs indicate that food-web interaction strengths are indeed characterized by many weak interactions and a few strong interactions. Expand
Mutualistic Interactions in Freshwater Modular Systems with Molluscan Components
TLDR
It is illustrated that it is necessary to adopt an approach that includes both positive and negative interactions to understand the mechanisms responsible for determining the distribution, abundance, and genetic composition of organisms in ecological and evolutionary time-scale. Expand
Invariant properties in coevolutionary networks of plant-animal interactions
TLDR
This work hypothesizes that plant–animal mutualistic networks follow a build-up process similar to complex abiotic nets, based on the preferential attachment of species, and reveals generalized topological patterns characteristic of self-organized complex systems. Expand
Phylogenetic constraints and adaptation explain food-web structure
TLDR
A new model built on the hypothesis that any species' diet is the consequence of phylogenetic constraints and adaptation is proposed, which better reflects the complexity and multidimensionality of most natural systems. Expand
DYNAMIC FOOD WEBS
TLDR
The analyses of biological properties of individuals within populations show a strong explanatory power of body size to population abundance scaling rules in understanding the dynamics and persistence of trophic groups in food webs. Expand
Small world patterns in food webs.
TLDR
The analysis of some species-rich, well-defined food webs shows that they display the so-called small world behavior shared by a number of disparate complex systems, suggesting that communities might be self-organized in a non-random fashion that might have important consequences in their resistance to perturbations. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...