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Community EcologyProcesses, Models, and Applications$
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Herman A. Verhoef and Peter J. Morin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228973.001.0001

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Emergence of complex food web structure in community evolution models

Emergence of complex food web structure in community evolution models

(p.163) Chapter 12 Emergence of complex food web structure in community evolution models
Community Ecology

Nicolas Loeuille

Michel Loreau

Oxford University Press

Evolutionary dynamics may help us understand the structure and dynamics of food webs. The theoretical understanding of empirical food web patterns faces a dilemma, as it is difficult to account simultaneously for dynamical components (demography, evolution) and for the complexity of these systems (species number, connectance). Current knowledge of food web structures is dominated by many-species models that do not incorporate any dynamical aspects, and by models that detail demographic or evolutionary dynamics of species but consider communities composed of few species. Community evolution models incorporate both the dynamical components of food webs and the complexity that is necessary to understand empirical food web data.

Keywords:   Adaptive dynamics, adaptive radiation, coevolution, food web structures

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