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      Trade patterns of the tree nursery industry in Europe and changes following findings of citrus longhorn beetle, Anoplophora chinensis Forster

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Food-web structure and network theory: The role of connectance and size.

          Networks from a wide range of physical, biological, and social systems have been recently described as "small-world" and "scale-free." However, studies disagree whether ecological networks called food webs possess the characteristic path lengths, clustering coefficients, and degree distributions required for membership in these classes of networks. Our analysis suggests that the disagreements are based on selective use of relatively few food webs, as well as analytical decisions that obscure important variability in the data. We analyze a broad range of 16 high-quality food webs, with 25-172 nodes, from a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Food webs generally have much higher complexity, measured as connectance (the fraction of all possible links that are realized in a network), and much smaller size than other networks studied, which have important implications for network topology. Our results resolve prior conflicts by demonstrating that although some food webs have small-world and scale-free structure, most do not if they exceed a relatively low level of connectance. Although food-web degree distributions do not display a universal functional form, observed distributions are systematically related to network connectance and size. Also, although food webs often lack small-world structure because of low clustering, we identify a continuum of real-world networks including food webs whose ratios of observed to random clustering coefficients increase as a power-law function of network size over 7 orders of magnitude. Although food webs are generally not small-world, scale-free networks, food-web topology is consistent with patterns found within those classes of networks.
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            Habitat modification alters the structure of tropical host-parasitoid food webs.

            Global conversion of natural habitats to agriculture has led to marked changes in species diversity and composition. However, it is less clear how habitat modification affects interactions among species. Networks of feeding interactions (food webs) describe the underlying structure of ecological communities, and might be crucially linked to their stability and function. Here, we analyse 48 quantitative food webs for cavity-nesting bees, wasps and their parasitoids across five tropical habitat types. We found marked changes in food-web structure across the modification gradient, despite little variation in species richness. The evenness of interaction frequencies declined with habitat modification, with most energy flowing along one or a few pathways in intensively managed agricultural habitats. In modified habitats there was a higher ratio of parasitoid to host species and increased parasitism rates, with implications for the important ecosystem services, such as pollination and biological control, that are performed by host bees and wasps. The most abundant parasitoid species was more specialized in modified habitats, with reduced attack rates on alternative hosts. Conventional community descriptors failed to discriminate adequately among habitats, indicating that perturbation of the structure and function of ecological communities might be overlooked in studies that do not document and quantify species interactions. Altered interaction structure therefore represents an insidious and functionally important hidden effect of habitat modification by humans.
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              Biogeographical patterns and determinants of invasion by forest pathogens in Europe.

              A large database of invasive forest pathogens (IFPs) was developed to investigate the patterns and determinants of invasion in Europe. Detailed taxonomic and biological information on the invasive species was combined with country-specific data on land use, climate, and the time since invasion to identify the determinants of invasiveness, and to differentiate the class of environments which share territorial and climate features associated with a susceptibility to invasion. IFPs increased exponentially in the last four decades. Until 1919, IFPs already present moved across Europe. Then, new IFPs were introduced mainly from North America, and recently from Asia. Hybrid pathogens also appeared. Countries with a wider range of environments, higher human impact or international trade hosted more IFPs. Rainfall influenced the diffusion rates. Environmental conditions of the new and original ranges and systematic and ecological attributes affected invasiveness. Further spread of established IFPs is expected in countries that have experienced commercial isolation in the recent past. Densely populated countries with high environmental diversity may be the weakest links in attempts to prevent new arrivals. Tight coordination of actions against new arrivals is needed. Eradication seems impossible, and prevention seems the only reliable measure, although this will be difficult in the face of global mobility. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                July 23 2015
                July 23 2015
                : 26
                : 1-20
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.26.8947
                © 2015
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