A stochastic theory of community food webs. II. Individual webs.

J. E. Cohen, C. M. Newman, F. Briand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The species scaling law and the link scaling law of community food webs can be derived from a simple mathematical model, called the cascade model, which incorporates the link species scaling law. In a previous test of this model against data on 62 community food webs, the ratio of links to species is estimated from aggregated data on all webs taken together, on the assumption that the ratio is independent of the number of species in the web. This paper demonstrates that the ratio of links to species shown no pronounced increasing or decreasing trend, but varies substantially, over the observed range of variation in the number of species in a web. However, the ratio is higher for webs in constant environments than for webs in fluctuating environments. When the ratio of links to species is estimated separately for each web, the cascade model provides a good description of the numbers of intermediate species and of basal-intermediate, intermediate-intermediate, and intermediate-top links, aside from a single outlying web. The cascade model provides a fair description of the numbers of top and basal species, and a rather poor description of the numbers of basal-top links. The model describes the kinds of species and kinds of linnks of constant and fluctuating webs about equally well.-Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-461
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings - Royal Society of London, Series B
Volume224
Issue number1237
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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