More than a meal: integrating non-feeding interactions into food webs

Ecology Letters
By: , and 

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Abstract

Organisms eating each other are only one of many types of well documented and important interactions among species. Other such types include habitat modification, predator interference and facilitation. However, ecological network research has been typically limited to either pure food webs or to networks of only a few (<3) interaction types. The great diversity of non-trophic interactions observed in nature has been poorly addressed by ecologists and largely excluded from network theory. Herein, we propose a conceptual framework that organises this diversity into three main functional classes defined by how they modify specific parameters in a dynamic food web model. This approach provides a path forward for incorporating non-trophic interactions in traditional food web models and offers a new perspective on tackling ecological complexity that should stimulate both theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the patterns and dynamics of diverse species interactions in nature.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title More than a meal: integrating non-feeding interactions into food webs
Series title Ecology Letters
DOI 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01732.x
Volume 15
Issue 4
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Ecology Letters
First page 291
Last page 300