Estimating relative fluxes of energy in trophic links using the food web, species abundance, and body size.
Reuman, Daniel*,1, Cohen, Joel1, 2, 1 Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA2 Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
ABSTRACT- Fluxes of energy or biomass in trophic links are difficult to measure in an appreciable fraction of the links in a community food web. Models that predict relative flux along trophic links from the food web, mean body masses and numerical abundances of species in an ecological community were developed. The models were tested using a pelagic lake community (Tuesday Lake, Michigan), three Dutch soil communities, eight communities from the riparian zone of a Swiss lake, and one British benthic stream community. In the metabolic action model, flux was proportional to the product of prey population production times predator population consumption, using allometric formulas for these quantities. This model performed slightly better than the other models and was more easily visualized. The new models have useful applications to trophic height and food web visualization, and potential future use in studying increasing concentrations of nutrients and toxins in food chains, the stability of ecosystems, and conservation. Daniel C. Reuman, J. E. Cohen, 2005. Estimating relative energy fluxes using the food web, species abundance, and body size. In: Food Webs: From Connectivity to Energetics, ed. Hal Caswell. Advances in Ecological Research 36:137-182. Elsevier, San Diego.
Key words: community ecology, food web ecology, interaction strength, allometry
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