How trophic interaction strength depends on traits: A conceptual framework for representing multidimensional trophic niche spaces
2010 (English)In: Theoretical Ecology, ISSN 1874-1738 (Print) 1874-1746 (Online), Vol. 3, no 1, 13-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A key problem in community ecology is to understand how individual-level traits give rise to population-level trophic interactions. Here, we propose a synthetic framework based on ecological considerations to address this question systematically. We derive a general functional form for the dependence of trophic interaction coefficients on trophically relevant quantitative traits of consumers and resources. The derived expression encompasses—and thus allows a unified comparison of—several functional forms previously proposed in the literature. Furthermore, we show how a community’s, potentially low-dimens ional, effective trophic niche space is related to its higher-dimensional phenotypic trait space. In this manner, we give ecological meaning to the notion of the “dimensionality of trophic niche space.” Our framework implies a method for directly measuring this dimensionality. We suggest a procedure for estimating the relevant parameters from empirical data and for verifying that such data matches the assumptions underlying our derivation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netrherlands , 2010. Vol. 3, no 1, 13-24 p.
Food webs, Niche space, Interaction strength, Evolution
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50104DOI: 10.1007/s12080-009-0049-1ISI: 000274253300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-50104DiVA: diva2:459590