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      The Bryosphere: An Integral and Influential Component of the Earth’s Biosphere

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      Ecosystems

      Springer Nature

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          Global patterns of terrestrial biological nitrogen (N2) fixation in natural ecosystems

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            Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system

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              Stability in real food webs: weak links in long loops.

              Increasing evidence that the strengths of interactions among populations in biological communities form patterns that are crucial for system stability requires clarification of the precise form of these patterns, how they come about, and why they influence stability. We show that in real food webs, interaction strengths are organized in trophic loops in such a way that long loops contain relatively many weak links. We show and explain mathematically that this patterning enhances stability, because it reduces maximum "loop weight" and thus reduces the amount of intraspecific interaction needed for matrix stability. The patterns are brought about by biomass pyramids, a feature common to most ecosystems. Incorporation of biomass pyramids in 104 food-web descriptions reveals that the low weight of the long loops stabilizes complex food webs. Loop-weight analysis could be a useful tool for exploring the structure and organization of complex communities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecosystems
                Ecosystems
                Springer Nature
                1432-9840
                1435-0629
                June 2010
                May 2010
                : 13
                : 4
                : 612-627
                Article
                10.1007/s10021-010-9336-3
                © 2010
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