Habitat subdivision causes changes in food web structure

Authors
Citation
M. Holyoak, Habitat subdivision causes changes in food web structure, ECOL LETT, 3(6), 2000, pp. 509-515
Citations number
26
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
ECOLOGY LETTERS
ISSN journal
1461-023X → ACNP
Volume
3
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
509 - 515
Database
ISI
SICI code
1461-023X(200011)3:6<509:HSCCIF>2.0.ZU;2-L
Abstract
Theory suggests that the response of communities to habitat subdivision dep ends on both species' characteristics and the extent to which species inter act. For species with dynamics that are independent of other species, subdi vision is expected to promote regional extinction as populations become sma ll and isolated. By contrast, intermediate levels of subdivision can facili tate persistence of strongly interacting species. Consistent with this pred iction, experimental subdivision lengthened persistence of some species, al tering the extent of food web collapse through extinction. Extended persist ence was associated with immigration rescuing a basal prey species from loc al extinction. As predicted by food web theory, habitat subdivision reduced population density of a top predator. Removal of this top predator from un divided microcosms increased the abundance of two other predator species, a nd these changes paralleled those produced by habitat subdivision. These re sults show that species interactions structured this community, and illustr ate the need for investigations of other communities.