Interaction strengths in balanced carbon cycles and the absence of a relation between ecosystem complexity and stability.
Bottom Line: We analyse the role of recycling, predation and competition and find that ecosystem stability can be estimated by the strengths of the shortest positive and negative predator-prey feedbacks in the network.Our results show how functional relationships dominate over average-network topology.They make clear that the classic complexity-instability paradox is essentially an artificial interaction-strength result.
Affiliation: British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: The absence of an effect of detritus feedbacks on system stability allowed us to make a direct comparison between the empirically-based parameterisations and synthetic (symmetric and asymmetric) parameterisations underlying the canonical ideas on the destabilising effects of diversity or link density (Gardner & Asby 1970; May 1972) and omnivory (Pimm & Lawton 1978). The ratio roughly predicted system stability irrespective of the type of parameterisation (Fig. 4a).
Affiliation: British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0ET, UK.