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Antagonistic interaction networks are structured independently of latitude and host guild

Morris, R. J., Gripenberg, S., Lewis, O. T. and Roslin, T. (2014) Antagonistic interaction networks are structured independently of latitude and host guild. Ecology Letters, 17 (3). pp. 340-349. ISSN 1461-0248

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ele.12235

Abstract/Summary

An increase in species richness with decreasing latitude is a prominent pattern in nature. However, it remains unclear whether there are corresponding latitudinal gradients in the properties of ecological interaction networks. We investigated the structure of 216 quantitative antagonistic networks comprising insect hosts and their parasitoids, drawn from 28 studies from the High Arctic to the tropics. Key metrics of network structure were strongly affected by the size of the interaction matrix (i.e. the total number of interactions documented between individuals) and by the taxonomic diversity of the host taxa involved. After controlling for these sampling effects, quantitative networks showed no consistent structural patterns across latitude and host guilds, suggesting that there may be basic rules for how sets of antagonists interact with resource species. Furthermore, the strong association between network size and structure implies that many apparent spatial and temporal variations in network structure may prove to be artefacts.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:80234
Publisher:Wiley

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