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Ecological community integration increases with added trophic complexity

Ecological Complexity

By:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2007.10.004

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Abstract

The existence of functional biological organization at the level of multi-species communities has long been contested in ecology and evolutionary biology. I found that adding a trophic level to simulated ecological communities enhanced their ability to compete at the community level, increasing the likelihood of one community forcing all or most species in a second community to extinction. Community-level identity emerged within systems of interacting ecological networks, while competitive ability at the community level was enhanced by intense within-community selection pressure. These results suggest a reassessment of the nature of biological organization above the level of species, indicating that the drive toward biological integration, so prominent throughout the history of life, might extend to multi-species communities.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ecological community integration increases with added trophic complexity
Series title:
Ecological Complexity
DOI:
10.1016/j.ecocom.2007.10.004
Volume:
5
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description:
6 p.
First page:
140
Last page:
145