Are networks of trophic interactions sufficient for understanding the dynamics of multi-trophic communities? Analysis of a tri-trophic insect food-web time-series

Kazutaka Kawatsu, Masayuki Ushio, F. J.Frank van Veen, Michio Kondoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Resource–consumer interactions are considered a major driving force of population and community dynamics. However, species also interact in many non-trophic and indirect ways and it is currently not known to what extent the dynamic coupling of species corresponds to the distribution of trophic links. Here, using a 10-year data set of monthly observations of a 40-species tri-trophic insect community and nonlinear time series analysis, we compare the occurrence and strengths of both the trophic and dynamic interactions in the insect community. The matching between observed trophic and dynamic interactions provides evidence that population dynamic interactions reflect resource–consumer interactions in the many-species community. However, the presence of a trophic interaction does not always correspond to a detectable dynamic interaction especially for top-down effects. Moreover a considerable proportion of dynamic interactions are not attributable to direct trophic interactions, suggesting the unignorable role of non-trophic and indirect interactions as co-drivers of community dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalEcology Letters
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Keywords

  • Community network
  • empirical dynamic modelling
  • food web
  • insect community
  • non-trophic interaction
  • time series analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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