Food web structure and habitat loss


  • Editor, M. Hochberg

Carlos J. Melián E-mail:


In this paper we explore simple food web models to study how metacommunity structure affects species response to habitat loss. We find that patch abundances and extinction thresholds vary according to the kind of food web. Second, for intermediate species, a slight decrease in the exploration cost of the better competitor has a strong effect on the extinction threshold of the poorer competitor. When predicting extinction risk one should consider not only the amount of habitat destroyed, but also the structure of the food web in which species are embedded. Both direct and indirect interactions are critical for predicting the consequences of habitat destruction.