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      Disentangling the web of life.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)
      Animals, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Ecology, methods, Food Chain, Phylogeny, Plants

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          Abstract

          Biodiversity research typically focuses on species richness and has often neglected interactions, either by assuming that such interactions are homogeneously distributed or by addressing only the interactions between a pair of species or a few species at a time. In contrast, a network approach provides a powerful representation of the ecological interactions among species and highlights their global interdependence. Understanding how the responses of pairwise interactions scale to entire assemblages remains one of the great challenges that must be met as society faces global ecosystem change.

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          Most cited references20

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          A simple rule for the evolution of cooperation on graphs and social networks.

          A fundamental aspect of all biological systems is cooperation. Cooperative interactions are required for many levels of biological organization ranging from single cells to groups of animals. Human society is based to a large extent on mechanisms that promote cooperation. It is well known that in unstructured populations, natural selection favours defectors over cooperators. There is much current interest, however, in studying evolutionary games in structured populations and on graphs. These efforts recognize the fact that who-meets-whom is not random, but determined by spatial relationships or social networks. Here we describe a surprisingly simple rule that is a good approximation for all graphs that we have analysed, including cycles, spatial lattices, random regular graphs, random graphs and scale-free networks: natural selection favours cooperation, if the benefit of the altruistic act, b, divided by the cost, c, exceeds the average number of neighbours, k, which means b/c > k. In this case, cooperation can evolve as a consequence of 'social viscosity' even in the absence of reputation effects or strategic complexity.
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            Plant-Animal Mutualistic Networks: The Architecture of Biodiversity

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              Network structure and biodiversity loss in food webs: robustness increases with connectance

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                19628856
                10.1126/science.1170749

                Chemistry
                Animals,Biodiversity,Biological Evolution,Ecology,methods,Food Chain,Phylogeny,Plants
                Chemistry
                Animals, Biodiversity, Biological Evolution, Ecology, methods, Food Chain, Phylogeny, Plants

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