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Community Food Webs

Ecological Statistics

  1. Donald L. Deangelis

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vac033.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Deangelis, D. L. 2013. Community Food Webs . Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 1.

Author Information

  1. University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

Abstract

Community food webs describe the feeding relationships, or trophic interactions, between the species of an ecological community. Both the structure and dynamics of such webs are the focus of food web research. The topological structures of empirical food webs from many ecosystems have been published on the basis of field studies and they form the foundation for theory concerning the mean number of trophic levels, the mean number of trophic connections versus number of species, and other food web measures, which show consistency across different ecosystems. The dynamics of food webs are influenced by indirect interactions, in which changes in the level of a population in one part of the food web may have indirect effects throughout the web. The mechanisms of these interactions are typically studied microcosm experiments, or sometimes in-field experiments. The use of mathematical models is also a major approach to understanding the effects of indirect interactions. Both empirical and mathematical studies have revealed important properties of food webs, such as keystone predators and trophic cascades.

Keywords:

  • food web structure;
  • functional response;
  • connectance;
  • food chain;
  • indirect effects;
  • stability;
  • omnivory