food web

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A simple food web illustrating the ecology of island creeks


food web (plural food webs)

  1. (ecology) A diagram showing the organisms that eat other organisms in a particular ecosystem, predators being higher in the web than their prey.
    • 1996 September, Adam W. Whelchel, “Coastal Natural Resources of Northern San Diego County”, in Tissa Munasinghe and Phil Rosenberg, editors, Geology and Natural Resources of Coastal San Diego County, California: Guidebook to Accompany the 1996 Annual Field Trip of the San Diego Association of Geologists (SDAG Annual Field Trip Guides), [San Diego, Calif.: San Diego Association of Geologists], OCLC 40853509, page 95, column 2:
      [T]he dynamic nature of rivers that flow westward from the peninsular range of San Diego county has been altered by man. [] Human modifications tend to alter the habitat values, water quality, flow regimes, and most importantly the food web by changing the trophic structure.
    • 2006, M. Jake Vander Zander; Julian D. Olden; Claudio Gratton, “Food-web Approaches in Restoration Ecology”, in Donald A. Falk, Margaret A. Palmer, and Joy B. Zedler, editors, Foundations of Restoration Ecology (Science and Practice of Ecological Restoration), Washington, D.C.: Island Press, →ISBN, page 165:
      No species exists in a vacuum. Rather, each species is embedded within a network of predator-prey interactions in what Charles Darwin referred to as an “entangled bank” and is now known in the most general sense as a food web. In its most basic form, a food web reveals to us something about the feeding relationships in a system. More broadly, food webs represent a way of thinking about an ecological system that considers trophic (consumer-resource) interactions among species or groups of similar species (trophic guilds or trophic levels).
    • 2012, William E. Snyder; Jason M. Tylianakis, “The Ecology of Biodiversity—Biocontrol Relationships”, in Geoff M. Gurr, Steve D. Wratten, and William E. Snyder, with Donna M. Y. Read, editors, Biodiversity and Insect Pests: Key Issues for Sustainable Management, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, →ISBN, page 36, column 1:
      Food web structure can be closely tied to biodiversity, with certain structural attributes such as 'connectance' (the proportion of potential interactions between species that are actually realised) being generally related to the number of species in the food web []. Thus, agricultural management may affect food web structure indirectly by altering local biodiversity.
    • 2012, Diana H. Wall, “Global Change in a Low Diversity Terrestrial Ecosystem: The McMurdo Dry Valleys”, in Alex D. Rogers, Nadine M. Johnston, Eugene J. Murphy, and Andrew Clarke, editors, Antarctic Ecosystems: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World, Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, →ISBN, page 53, column 1:
      In plant-dominated ecosystems the composition of the belowground foodweb shifts to a bacterial pathway when the source of organic matter is more labile, and to a fungal-dominated foodweb when the organic matter is more complex and recalcitrant.

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