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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Feb 15;90(4):1384-7.

Productivity, consumers, and the structure of a river food chain.

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1
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Abstract

We tested models of food chain dynamics in experimentally manipulated channels within a natural river. As light levels increased, primary productivity and the biomass of algae and primary predators increased, but the biomass of grazers remained relatively constant. In the presence of a fourth trophic level, algae and primary predators decreased, but grazers increased. These results match predictions of food chain models based on classical predator-prey theory and suggest that simple models of multitrophic level interactions are sometimes sufficient to predict the responses of natural communities to changes in environmental productivity and predators.

PMID:
11607368
PMCID:
PMC45877
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