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Complex networks: two ways to be robust?

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Correspondence: E-mail: cmelian@ebd.csic.es

Abstract

Recent studies of biological networks have focused on the distribution of the number of links per node. However, the connectivity distribution does not uncover all the complexity of their topology. Here, we analyse the relation between the connectivity of a species and the average connectivity of its nearest neighbours in three of the most resolved community food webs. We compare the pattern arising with the one recently reported for protein networks and for a simple null model of a random network. Whereas two highly connected nodes are unlikely to be connected between each other in protein networks, the reverse happens in food webs. We discuss this difference in organization in relation to the robustness of biological networks to different types of perturbation.

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