How trophic interaction strength depends on traits: A conceptual framework for representing multidimensional trophic niche spaces

Rossberg AG, Brannstrom A, & Dieckmann U (2010). How trophic interaction strength depends on traits: A conceptual framework for representing multidimensional trophic niche spaces. Theoretical Ecology 3 (1): 13-24. DOI:10.1007/s12080-009-0049-1.

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Abstract

A key problem in community ecology is to understand how individual-level traits give rise to population-level trophic interactions. Here, we propose a synthetic framework based on ecological considerations to address this question systematically. We derive a general functional form for the dependence of trophic interaction coefficients on trophically relevant quantitative traits of consumers and resources. The derived expression encompasses-and thus allows a unified comparison of-several functional forms previously proposed in the literature. Furthermore, we show how a community's, potentially low-dimensional, effective trophic niche space is related to its higher-dimensional phenotypic trait space. In this manner, we give ecological meaning to the notion of the "dimensionality of trophic niche space." Our framework implies a method for directly measuring this dimensionality. We suggest a procedure for estimating the relevant parameters from empirical data and for verifying that such data matches the assumptions underlying our derivation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food webs; Niche space; Interaction strength; Evolution
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Bibliographic Reference: Theoretical Ecology; 3(1):13-24 (February 2010) (Published online 22 April 2009)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:44
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2016 12:58
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9277

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