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Old 12-08-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default A New Model for Understanding Biodiversity

A New Model for Understanding Biodiversity
ScienceDaily
Nov. 21, 2011

A new model for understanding biodiversity
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Researchers have developed a unified theory of ecosystem change by combining spatial modelling and food web analysis.

Animals like foxes and raccoons are highly adaptable. They move around and eat everything from insects to eggs. They and other "generalist feeders" like them may also be crucial to sustaining biological diversity, according to a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

McGill biology researchers have developed a...
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:07 PM   #2
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The more we learn the more complex and co-dependant the natural world seems. Not always easy to understand.(
( Abstract for listed source at article)

P. Pillai, A. Gonzalez, M. Loreau. Metacommunity theory explains the emergence of food web complexity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1106235108


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Our analysis shows that network branching in the food web is maximized at intermediate colonization rates and limited dispersal scales,which also leads to concomitant peaks in species diversity.
Increased food web complexity and species diversity are made possible by the structural role played by network branches that are supported by omnivore and generalist feeding links.
Thus, in contrast to traditional food web theory, which emphasizes the destabilizing effect of omnivory feeding in closed systems,
metacommunity theory predicts that these feeding links, which are commonly observed in empirical food webs, play a critical structural role as food webs assemble in space.
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