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Food Webs (MPB-50)$
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Kevin S. McCann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134178

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134178.001.0001

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Food Chains and Omnivory

Food Chains and Omnivory

(p.103) Chapter Seven Food Chains and Omnivory
Food Webs (MPB-50)

Kevin S. McCann

Princeton University Press

This chapter extends the consumer–resource theory to include simple but common three-species modules behind the construction of whole food webs, with particular emphasis on food chains and omnivory. It first considers some common simple modular food web structures and whether the dynamics of subsystems can be seen using the framework laid out in previous chapters. Specifically, it asks when common food web structure increases or weakens the relative interaction strengths and/or when a food web structure modifies flux between consumers and resources in a density-dependent manner such that the food web tends to increase flux rates in some situations and decrease the coupling in other situations. The chapter also explores how stage structure can influence food chain stability before concluding with a review of empirical evidence on the dynamical implications of omnivory for food webs.

Keywords:   consumer–resource theory, module, food webs, food chains, omnivory, subsystems, interaction strength, consumers, resources, stage structure

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