Food Web Complexity and Species Diversity

  title={Food Web Complexity and Species Diversity},
  author={Robert T. R. Paine},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={65 - 75}
  • R. Paine
  • Published 1 January 1966
  • Environmental Science
  • The American Naturalist
It is suggested that local animal species diversity is related to the number of predators in the system and their efficiency in preventing single species from monopolizing some important, limiting, requisite. In the marine rocky intertidal this requisite usually is space. Where predators capable of preventing monopolies are missing, or are experimentally removed, the systems become less diverse. On a local scale, no relationship between latitude (10⚬ to 49⚬ N.) and diversity was found. On a… 

Balancing Predation and Competition in Cladocerans

A graphic model is proposed relating the balance between predation and com- petition to size strategies and species richness in zooplankton communities. As decreasing survivorship, due to predation,

Competition, Coexistence and Diversity on Rocky Shores

The apparent diversity of some sites contrasts with the occurrence of species mono cultures at other sites and provides a fascinating model system to study the mechanisms that mediate competitive exclusion, species coexistence and diversity in space-limited communities.

Species Diversity Enhances Predator Growth Rates

A strong positive correlation between prey species diversity and growth rates of largemouth bass and the Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index is found across a set of 80 lakes in Connecticut, USA.

On Lizard Species Diversity: North American Flatland Deserts

It is concluded that ecological time, spatial heterogeneity, length of growing season, and amount of warm season productivity are all factors which determine the total number of lizard species occurring on an area, but that the most important single factor is the spatial heterogeneity of the environment.

Man as an Intertidal Predator in Transkei: Disturbance, Community Convergence and Management of a Natural Food Resource

The indigenous peoples of Transkei, South Africa, remove shellfish from the shore to supplement their diet. Paired exploited and protected rocky shores were compared in terms of community structure

Food Web Theory and Ecological Restoration

No species exists in a vacuum. Rather, species are embedded within a network of predator-prey interactions in what Charles Darwin referred to as an “entangled bank” (Darwin 1859) and is now known

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A food web constructed for the major invertebrate carnivores in a littoral boulderfield suggests that trophic complexity was very low and that the primary predator, Octopus, had no size preferences.

Scale and species numbers.

On community structure in high alpine grasslands

Previously published data on production biology, energy use efficiency, nutrient availability and vulnerability were reinterpreted for the explanation of community processing and structure in high



On the Causes of Tropical Species Diversity: Niche Overlap

It is suggested that the major factor causing the tropical increase in numbers of bird species is neither increased complexity of habitat nor, solely, increased specialization, but an increase in the

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Support is interpreted for the notion that the phylogenetically older non-passerines species are insufficiently plastic in their niche requirements to colonize temperate areas, tropical niches being smaller and less subject to change.

The Ecological Regulation of Species Diversity

The hypothesis that the tropics are closer to equilibrium while the temperate zone is in a "successional" state of development of diversity is not accepted, for theoretical reasons and for lack of evidence.

Trophic Relationships of 8 Sympatric Predatory Gastropods

tivated the maize on his own farm and permitted sampling beyond the stage at which he would have harvested it for silage. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the Louis W. and Maud Hill Family


The following pages serve to review some previously known latitudinalGradients in organic diversity, to describe quantitatively gradients in molluscan diversity along North American shores, and to inquire into the origin of these patterns.

Possible Relationships Between Plankton‐Diatom Species Numbers and Water‐Quality Estimates

A study of the four most abundant species of diatoms and the six most abundant genera of algae demonstrated, with few exceptiosn, that the most frequent dominants have the highest standing crops.

The Influence of Interspecific Competition and Other Factors on the Distribution of the Barnacle Chthamalus Stellatus

Field observations on the daily routine and social behavior of common Indian monkeys, with special reference to the Bonnet monkey (Macaca radiata Geoff roy).

Ecology of Sponges in Hatteras Harbor, North Carolina

Observations are made on competition for space by sponges and by the compound ascidian, Botryllus schlosseri, and on other aspects of the ecology of spongees in Hatteras Harbor.

Shallow‐Water Marine Climates and Molluscan Provinces

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Homage to Santa Rosalia or Why Are There So Many Kinds of Animals?

The address of the president of a society, founded largely to further the study of evolution, at the close of the year that marks the centenary of Darwin and Wallace's initial presentation of the theory of natural selection.