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In ecosystems with many species, food webs form highly complex networks of resource-consumer interactions. At the same time, the food web as itself needs sufficient resources to develop and survive. So in fact, food web ecology is about how natural resources form the basis of biological communities, in terms of species richness and abundances as well as how species are organised in communities on the basis of the resource availability and use. The central theme of this book is that patterns in the utilisation of energy result from the trophic interactions among species, and that these patterns form the basis of ecosystem stability.
The authors integrate the latest work on community dynamics, ecosystem energetics, and stability, and in so doing attempt to dispel the categorisation of the field into the separate subdisciplines of population, community, and ecosystem ecology. Energetic Food Webs represents the first attempt to bridge the gap between the energetic and species approaches to ecology.
1: Approaches to studying food webs
Section I: Modelling Simple and Multispecies Communities
2: Models of Simple and Complex Systems
3: Connectedness Food Webs
4: Energy Flux Food Webs
5: Functional webs
Section II: The Dynamics and Stability of Simple and Complex Communities
6: Energetic Organization and Food Web Stability
7: Enrichment, Trophic Structure, and Dynamic Stability
8: Modeling Compartments
9: Productivity, Dynamic Stability, and Species Richness
Section III: Dynamic Food Web Architectures
10: Species-based versus Biomass-based Food Web Descriptions
11: Dynamic Architectures and Stability of Complex Systems along Productivity Gradients
12: Food Webs Dynamics Beyond Asymptotic Behavior
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