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      A network perspective for sustainable agroecosystems

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          Abstract

          Nature-based management aims to improve sustainable agroecosystem production, but its efficacy has been variable. We argue that nature-based agroecosystem management could be significantly improved by explicitly considering and manipulating the underlying networks of species interactions. A network perspective can link species interactions to ecosystem functioning and stability, identify influential species and interactions, and suggest optimal management approaches. Recent advances in predicting the network roles of species from their functional traits could allow direct manipulation of network architecture through additions or removals of species with targeted traits. Combined with improved understanding of the structure and dynamics of networks across spatial and temporal scales and interaction types, including social-ecological, applying these tools to nature-based management can contribute to sustainable agroecosystems.

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          Multilayer networks

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            Predicting changes in community composition and ecosystem functioning from plant traits: revisiting the Holy Grail

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              Structural asymmetry and the stability of diverse food webs.

              Untangling the influence of human activities on food-web stability and persistence is complex given the large numbers of species and overwhelming number of interactions within ecosystems. Although biodiversity has been associated with stability, the actual structures and processes that confer stability to diverse food webs remain largely unknown. Here we show that real food webs are structured such that top predators act as couplers of distinct energy channels that differ in both productivity and turnover rate. Our theoretical analysis shows that coupled fast and slow channels convey both local and non-local stability to food webs. Alarmingly, the same human actions that have been implicated in the loss of biodiversity also directly erode the very structures and processes that we show to confer stability on food webs.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                Trends in Plant Science
                Trends in Plant Science
                Elsevier BV
                13601385
                August 2022
                August 2022
                : 27
                : 8
                : 769-780
                Article
                10.1016/j.tplants.2022.04.002
                35501260
                6bb1434b-aceb-4cd2-8358-7567beb2c92f
                © 2022

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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