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Introduction

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is an important concept in biology that is closely tied to ecosystem functioning and services. Much research has been done on different levels of biodiversity, e.g. species richness and composition, population dynamics or genetic diversity such as allele distributions. However, not much is know about ecosystem diversity. That is, how much variation there is in the structure of ecosystems.  

Food webs

Different aspects of ecosystems can be measued and evaluated by representing ecosystems as networks. Such networks explain different types of species interactions in the ecosystems, e.g. pollination or parasite-host interactions. For my thesis I used food webs, which represents the predator-prey interactions in the ecosystems.  They display what-eats-what in an ecosystem, and depending on which species that exist in the ecosystem, they will have different structure. Food web structure has been shown to influence different stability measures of the ecosystem and to be connected to its functioning and ecosystem services.

 

Aim

  • To compare the diversity of food web structures among aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • To analyze the effect of species richness on food web structure diversity.
Illustrations of the food web structure of three North American lakes.


Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 06/01/16