Cyclic energy pathways in ecological food webs

Fath, B.D. ORCID: & Halnes, G. (2007). Cyclic energy pathways in ecological food webs. Ecological Modelling 208 (1) 17-24. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2007.04.020.

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Standard ecology textbooks typically maintain that nutrients cycle, but energy flows in unidirectional chains. However, here we use a new metric that allows for the identification and quantification of cyclic energy pathways. Some of these important pathways occur due to the contribution of dead organic matter to detrital pools and those organisms that feed on them, reintroducing some of that energy back into the food web. Recognition of these cyclic energy pathways profoundly impacts many aspects of ecology such as trophic levels, control, and the importance of indirect effects. Network analysis, specifically the maximum eigenvalue of the connectance matrix, is used to identify both the presence and strength of these structural cycles.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cycling; Detritus; Energy flow; Food webs; Network analysis; Trophic dynamics
Research Programs: Dynamic Systems (DYN)
Bibliographic Reference: Ecological Modelling; 208(1):17-24 (24 October 2007) (Published online 13 June 2007)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

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