Biodiversity, productivity, and stability in real food webs.

Worm, Boris and Duffy, J. E. (2003) Biodiversity, productivity, and stability in real food webs. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 18 . pp. 162-173. DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2003.09.003.

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Abstract

The global biodiversity crisis has motivated new theory and experiments that explore relationships between biodiversity (species richness and composition in particular), productivity and stability. Here we emphasize that these relationships are often bi-directional, such that changes in biodiversity can be both a cause and a consequence of changes in productivity and stability. We hypothesize that this bi-directionality creates feedback loops, as well as indirect effects, that influence the complex responses of communities to biodiversity losses. Important, but often neglected, mediators of this complexity are trophic interactions. Recent work shows that consumers can modify, dampen or even reverse the directionality of biodiversity-productivity-stability linkages inferred from the plant level alone. Such consumer mediation is likely to be common in many ecosystems. We suggest that merging biodiversity research and food-web theory is an exciting and pressing frontier for ecology, with implications for biodiversity conservation.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.tree.2003.09.003
ISSN: 0169-5347
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2009 18:51
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 11:18
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/8151

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