This chapter explores a special type of community organization: the compartmentalization and hierarchal arrangement of trophic interactions, energy flow, and biomass in space and time. Beginning with a brief background on the complexity and diversity debate, it then defines compartments in a food web context, using information from the developed connectedness, energy flux, and functional descriptions arrived at in previous chapters. This is for the purpose of presenting different approaches that have been employed in the past when studying compartments. This methodology also serves as a means to review the evidence for and against the presence of compartments of species within food webs, and to discuss the theoretical reasons behind the formation and persistence of compartments.
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