Evol Ecol Res 1: 591-609 (1999) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Reliable flows and preferred patterns in food webs
Ferenc Jordán* and István Molnár
Department of Genetics, Eötvös University, Múzeum krt. 4/A, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
We analyse the structure of food webs from a reliability theoretical point of view. The reliability of the network flow is the probability that sources are connected to sinks. With a fixed number of species and connectance, reliability depends on the pattern of links. We construct all of the possible sink web graphs with given numbers of species and links and calculate the reliability of the network flow for each hypothetical sink web. Patterns favourable for reliable flows are characterized. Having compared our results with real web data, we conclude that the structure of natural webs contains mostly such patterns. Thus, the reliability of the network flow seems to be an important factor governing food web structure. Our results show that short chains, a high level of omnivory, a high prey–predator ratio and a low number of specialists are favourable for reliable network flows. These conclusions support the reticulate nature of food webs and the rethinking of the traditional, linearized view.
Keywords: flow network, food web pattern, reliability theory, sink web.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 1999 Ferenc Jordán. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.