SENS

The project is divided into three main parts:
 
  1. In the connection with the structure of food webs we will tackle the problem of finding cordless cycles in the collection of real food webs without reference to the importance of interactions between species. We will establish the frequency distribution of these cordless cycles regarding their size and making a comparison of these distributions with null models. Secondly, we will develop a similar approach for quantitative food webs (with information on the interaction between species). Finally, we will compare the distributions of cordless cycles in natural and perturbed habitats.
  2. Study of the dynamical stability of food webs with regard to patterns of cordless cycles and to the inverse pyramid of habitat. Discovering the factors that promote stability in natural ecosystems is a long standing issue in ecology. In this part of the project we will explore two aspects that link the structure of food webs and their dynamical properties. Firstly, we will study the consequences of cordless cycles in food webs. Secondly, we will incorporate the spatial structure of food webs in dynamical models and analyze their long term stability. Here we will concentrate specifically on the so-called “inverse pyramid of habitat”.
  3. Technology transfer: the aim of this part is to develop an "R" package for the analysis and visualization of biological networks.

Keywords

networks, ecology, food-web graphs, niche-overlap graphs, cordless cycles, inverse pyramid of habitat, dynamical stability

Outcomes

This project will provide fundamental information on the factors affecting the structure and dynamics of ecological networks. It will have a potential to offer key information on the management of ecosystems, with the aim of preserving their stability. In addition, the applied part of the project will be useful for researchers working on biological networks.

Website of the project

 

Project Information

Ongoing project, PhD thesis, duration 3 years (2011 - 2014).