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Community structure and collapses in multi-channel food webs: role of consumer body sizes and mesohabitat productivities.
  • Samuel Dijoux,
  • David Boukal
Samuel Dijoux
University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice Faculty of Science
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David Boukal
University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice Faculty of Science
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Abstract

Multi-channel food webs are shaped by the ability of apex predators to link asymmetric energy flows in mesohabitats differing in productivity and community traits. While body size is a fundamental trait underlying life histories and demography, its implications for structuring multi-channel food webs are unexplored. To fill this gap, we develop a framework that links population responses to predation and resource availability to community-level patterns using a tri-trophic food web model with two populations of intermediate consumers and a size-selective top predator. We show that asymmetries in mesohabitat productivities and consumer body sizes drive food web structure, merging previously separate theory on apparent competition and emergent Allee effects (i.e., abrupt collapses of top predator populations). Our results yield theoretical support for empirically observed stability of asymmetric multi-channel food webs and discover three novel types of emergent Allee effects involving intermediate consumers, multiple populations or multiple alternative stable states.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

03 Dec 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
04 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
04 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
04 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
10 Mar 20211st Revision Received
10 Mar 2021Assigned to Editor
10 Mar 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 Mar 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 Apr 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
10 Apr 20212nd Revision Received
12 Apr 2021Assigned to Editor
12 Apr 2021Submission Checks Completed
12 Apr 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Accept