Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 445367
Title Letter: Variable and complex food web structures revealed by exploring missing trophic links between birds and biofilm
Author(s) Kuwae, T.; Miyoshi, E.; Hosokawa, S.; Amano, T.; Moriya, T.; Kondoh, M.; Ydenberg, R.C.; Elner, R.W.
Source Ecology Letters 15 (2012)4. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 347 - 356.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01744.x
Department(s) Resource Ecology
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) knots calidris-canutus - western sandpipers - ecological networks - stable isotopes - dunlin - stability - dynamics - mauri - size - populations
Abstract Food webs are comprised of a network of trophic interactions and are essential to elucidating ecosystem processes and functions. However, the presence of unknown, but critical networks hampers understanding of complex and dynamic food webs in nature. Here, we empirically demonstrate a missing link, both critical and variable, by revealing that direct predator-prey relationships between shorebirds and biofilm are widespread and mediated by multiple ecological and evolutionary determinants. Food source mixing models and energy budget estimates indicate that the strength of the missing linkage is dependent on predator traits (body mass and foraging action rate) and the environment that determines food density. Morphological analyses, showing that smaller bodied species possess more developed feeding apparatus to consume biofilm, suggest that the linkage is also phylogenetically dependent and affords a compelling re-interpretation of niche differentiation. We contend that exploring missing links is a necessity for revealing true network structure and dynamics.
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