Food webs: Reconciling the structure and function of biodiversity

Ross M. Thompson, Ulrich Brose, Jennifer A. Dunne, Robert O. Hall, Sally Hladyz, Roger L. Kitching, Neo D. Martinez, Heidi Rantala, Tamara N. Romanuk, Daniel B. Stouffer, Jason M. Tylianakis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

281 Scopus citations

Abstract

The global biodiversity crisis concerns not only unprecedented loss of species within communities, but also related consequences for ecosystem function. Community ecology focuses on patterns of species richness and community composition, whereas ecosystem ecology focuses on fluxes of energy and materials. Food webs provide a quantitative framework to combine these approaches and unify the study of biodiversity and ecosystem function. We summarise the progression of food-web ecology and the challenges in using the food-web approach. We identify five areas of research where these advances can continue, and be applied to global challenges. Finally, we describe what data are needed in the next generation of food-web studies to reconcile the structure and function of biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-697
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume27
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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    Thompson, R. M., Brose, U., Dunne, J. A., Hall, R. O., Hladyz, S., Kitching, R. L., Martinez, N. D., Rantala, H., Romanuk, T. N., Stouffer, D. B., & Tylianakis, J. M. (2012). Food webs: Reconciling the structure and function of biodiversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 27(12), 689-697. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2012.08.005