Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2003 Nov 20;426(6964):282-5.

Compartments revealed in food-web structure.

Author information

  • 1Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Educational Psychology, and Special Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA. krausean@msu.edu

Abstract

Compartments in food webs are subgroups of taxa in which many strong interactions occur within the subgroups and few weak interactions occur between the subgroups. Theoretically, compartments increase the stability in networks, such as food webs. Compartments have been difficult to detect in empirical food webs because of incompatible approaches or insufficient methodological rigour. Here we show that a method for detecting compartments from the social networking science identified significant compartments in three of five complex, empirical food webs. Detection of compartments was influenced by food web resolution, such as interactions with weights. Because the method identifies compartmental boundaries in which interactions are concentrated, it is compatible with the definition of compartments. The method is rigorous because it maximizes an explicit function, identifies the number of non-overlapping compartments, assigns membership to compartments, and tests the statistical significance of the results. A graphical presentation reveals systemic relationships and taxa-specific positions as structured by compartments. From this graphic, we explore two scenarios of disturbance to develop a hypothesis for testing how compartmentalized interactions increase stability in food webs.

PMID:
14628050
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk