Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2010 Aug 13;329(5993):853-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1188321.

Stability of ecological communities and the architecture of mutualistic and trophic networks.

Author information

1
Division of Biology, Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK.

Abstract

Research on the relationship between the architecture of ecological networks and community stability has mainly focused on one type of interaction at a time, making difficult any comparison between different network types. We used a theoretical approach to show that the network architecture favoring stability fundamentally differs between trophic and mutualistic networks. A highly connected and nested architecture promotes community stability in mutualistic networks, whereas the stability of trophic networks is enhanced in compartmented and weakly connected architectures. These theoretical predictions are supported by a meta-analysis on the architecture of a large series of real pollination (mutualistic) and herbivory (trophic) networks. We conclude that strong variations in the stability of architectural patterns constrain ecological networks toward different architectures, depending on the type of interaction.

PMID:
20705861
DOI:
10.1126/science.1188321
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center