Trophic dynamics of communities
Although much of the attention to the trophic dynamics of communities is theoretical, empirical data on the different types of dynamics and the underlying mechanisms are increasingly reported. The dynamics of small food web modules, or simple webs, are compared with those of complex interactions. Food web modules are described as small systems that possess explicit dynamics. They can be seen as building blocks to construct more realistic food webs, which are subsets of the true complexity in trophic interactions in real ecosystems. It has been stated that in small food webs oscillating consumer-resource interactions occur in natural systems and that in chains of three or more levels trophic cascades seem to be important. Finally, new studies on the dynamics of complex interaction webs are mentioned, focusing on the consequences of specific patterning of interaction strengths across the web for the stability of the overall system.
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