Food web patterns and their consequences

@article{Pimm1991FoodWP,
  title={Food web patterns and their consequences},
  author={Stuart L. Pimm and John H. Lawton and Joel E. Cohen},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1991},
  volume={350},
  pages={669-674}
}
A food web is a map that describes which kinds of organisms in a community eat which other kinds. A web helps picture how a community is put together and how it works. Although webs were often initially reported in despair at ever understanding ecological complexity, recently discovered widespread patterns in the shapes of webs, and theoretical explanations for these patterns, indicate that webs are orderly and intelligible, and have some foreseeable consequences for the dynamics of communities… 

Making connections in food webs.

  • P. Warren
  • Environmental Science
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1994

Scale and Structure in Natural Food Webs

The degree to which widely accepted generalizations about food web structure apply to natural communities was determined through examination of 50 pelagic webs sampled consistently with even taxonomic resolution of all trophic levels, suggesting that the link-species scaling law does not reflect a real ecological trend.

Small world patterns in food webs.

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.

Effects of resolution on food web structure

This analysis of 11 large community food webs shows that food web structure systematically varies as the trophic resolution of food web data is reduced, and directed connectance and the predator/prey ratio appear to be relatively robust to this change.

A General Model for Food Web Structure

It is shown that the three main models proposed so far fail to fully replicate the empirical data, and a likelihood-based approach is developed for the direct comparison of alternative models based on the full structure of the network.

Simple rules yield complex food webs

This model extends the existing ‘cascade model’ and improves its fit ten-fold by constraining species to consume a contiguous sequence of prey in a one-dimensional trophic niche.

The Network Structure of Food Webs

The history of the search for generalities in the structure of complex food webs is reviewed, current and future research trends are discussed, and it is suggested that once variable diversity and connectance are taken into account, there are universal coarse-grained characteristics of how trophic links and species are distributed.

Assessing the Relative Importance of Trophic Links in Food Webs

In recent years much effort has gone into the analysis of food web graphs in a search for recurrent properties—the so-called web statistics, but it has become increasingly clear that links vary in their dynamic importance.

Quantitative descriptors and their perspectives for food web ecology

A food web customarily describes the qualitative feeding relationships in a community. Descriptors have been used to extract ecologically meaningful information from such data, e.g., the proportion
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