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Trophic interactions in a changing world : the role of spatial scale.

Koppel, Johan and Bardgett, Richard D. and Bengtsson, Janne and Rodriguez-Barrueco, Claudino and Rietkerk, Max and Wassen, Martin J. and Wolters, Volkmar (2005) Trophic interactions in a changing world : the role of spatial scale. Ecosystems, 8 (7). pp. 801-807. ISSN 1432-9840

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Abstract

Food chain models have dominated empirical studies of trophic interactions in the past decades, and have lead to important insights into the factors that control ecological communities. Despite the importance of food chain models in instigating ecological investigations, many empirical studies still show a strong deviation from the dynamics that food chain models predict. We present a theoretical framework that explains some of the discrepancies by showing that trophic interactions are likely to be strongly influenced by the spatial configuration of consumers and their resources. Differences in the spatial scale at which consumers and their resources function lead to uncoupling of the population dynamics of the interacting species, and may explain overexploitation and depletion of resource populations. We discuss how changed land use, likely the most prominent future stress on natural systems, may affect food web dynamics by interfering with the scale of interaction between consumers and their resource.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Ecosystems
Uncontrolled Keywords: spatial scale - predator–prey interaction - consumer–resource interaction - trophic cascade - land use
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 10231
Deposited By: Prof Richard Bardgett
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2008 08:48
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 10:48
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10231

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