Does foraging adaptation create the positive complexity-stability relationship in realistic food-web structure?

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40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The adaptive food-web hypothesis suggests that an adaptive foraging switch inverses the classically negative complexity-stability relationships of food webs into positive ones, providing a possible resolution for the long-standing paradox of how populations persist in a complex natural food web. However, its applicability to natural ecosystems has been questioned, because the positive relationship does not emerge when a niche model, a realistic "benchmark" of food-web models, is used. I hypothesize that, in the niche model, increasing connectance influences the fraction of basal species to destabilize the system and this masks the inversion of the negative complexity-stability relationship in the presence of adaptive foraging. A model analysis shows that, if this confounding effect is eliminated, then, even in a niche model, a population is more likely to persist in a more complex food web. This result supports the robustness of adaptive food-web hypothesis and reveals the condition in which the hypothesis should be tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-651
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume238
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb 7
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adaptive food-web hypothesis
  • Adaptive foraging
  • Connectance
  • Population stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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