publication . Other literature type . Article . 2006

Ecological networks and their fragility

José M. Montoya; Stuart L. Pimm; Ricard V. Solé;
  • Published: 01 Jul 2006
  • Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Darwin used the metaphor of a ‘tangled bank’ to describe the complex interactions between species. Those interactions are varied: they can be antagonistic ones involving predation, herbivory and parasitism, or mutualistic ones, such as those involving the pollination of flowers by insects. Moreover, the metaphor hints that the interactions may be complex to the point of being impossible to understand. All interactions can be visualized as ecological networks, in which species are linked together, either directly or indirectly through intermediate species. Ecological networks, although complex, have well defined patterns that both illuminate the ecological mechan...
free text keywords: Multidisciplinary, Ecology, Ecological network, Complex network, Food chain, Biodiversity, Ecological stability, Environmental ethics, Apex predator, Biology, Food web, Ecosystem
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