Dispersal dynamics in food webs

Melian Penate, Carlos Javier; Křivan, Vlastimil; Altermatt, Florian; Starý, Petr; Pellissier, Loïc; De Leander, Frederik (2015). Dispersal dynamics in food webs. The American naturalist, 185(2), pp. 157-168. University of Chicago Press 10.1086/679505

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Studies of food webs suggest that limited nonrandom dispersal can play an important role in structuring food webs. It is not clear, however, whether density-dependent dispersal fits empirical patterns of food webs better than density-independent dispersal. Here, we study a spatially distributed food web, using a series of population-dispersal models that contrast density-independent and density-dependent dispersal in landscapes where sampled sites are either homogeneously or heterogeneously distributed. These models are fitted to empirical data, allowing us to infer mechanisms that are consistent with the data. Our results show that models with density-dependent dispersal fit the α, β, and γ tritrophic richness observed in empirical data best. Our results also show that density-dependent dispersal leads to a critical distance threshold beyond which site similarity (i.e., β tritrophic richness) starts to decrease much faster. Such a threshold can also be detected in the empirical data. In contrast, models with density-independent dispersal do not predict such a threshold. Moreover, preferential dispersal from more centrally located sites to peripheral sites does not provide a better fit to empirical data when compared with symmetric dispersal between sites. Our results suggest that nonrandom dispersal in heterogeneous landscapes is an important driver that shapes local and regional richness (i.e., α and γ tritrophic richness, respectively) as well as the distance-decay relationship (i.e., β tritrophic richness) in food webs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Melian Penate, Carlos Javier

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0003-0147

Publisher:

University of Chicago Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

23 Dec 2014 08:50

Last Modified:

07 May 2019 15:35

Publisher DOI:

10.1086/679505

PubMed ID:

25616136

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.60991

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/60991

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