Long-term dynamics of island food webs.
Huxel, Gary1, Talley, Drew1, 2, Sanchez-Pinero, Francisco3, 1 University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA2 San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, USA3 Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
ABSTRACT- Using long-term and experimental data, we explore the dynamics and the influence of allochthonous inputs on island food webs of Baja California, Mexico. These islands differ in use by sea birds (mainly brown pelicans, gulls, terns, and cormorants), island topography and geology, and by evolutionary history. Additionally, the role of climatic variability, especially the influence of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, play a major role in the dynamics of these food webs. Here we address the role of the interface between theory and data, and how this interface leads to advances in our understanding of the food web structure and dynamics. Our results suggest that simple metabolic models of predator-prey interactions do not adequately explain food web structure and dynamics. Further understanding of the relative roles of competition and predation, food quality (especially in terms of C:N:P stoichiometry), and behavioral and evolutionary responses of prey species and predators is required.
Key words: Food webs, Baja California, Stoichiometry
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