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Major food web properties of two sandy beaches with contrasting morphodynamics, and effects on the stability
Bergamino, L.; Gómez, J.; Barboza, F.; Lercari, D. (2013). Major food web properties of two sandy beaches with contrasting morphodynamics, and effects on the stability. Aquat. Ecol. 47(3): 253-261. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10452-013-9440-5
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
Author keywords
    Food web structure; Trophic interactions; Binary food webs

Authors  Top 
  • Bergamino, L.
  • Gómez, J.
  • Barboza, F.
  • Lercari, D.

Abstract
    We determined major structural properties influencing the food webs of two sandy beaches with contrasting morphodynamics in the Atlantic coast of Uruguay: reflective (narrow and steep) and dissipative beaches (wide and flat). Furthermore, we evaluated how these characteristics could influence the stability of the local food webs. To this end, we examined the correlation of several food web properties with different ecosystem types (including freshwater habitats, estuary, marine, and terrestrial environments) using a principal components analysis. Sandy beach food web components included detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, fishes, and seabirds. Our results revealed that the dissipative beach presented higher trophic levels, a higher number of trophic species, more links per species, as well as a higher proportion of intermediate trophic species, but lower connectance and proportion of omnivorous species than the reflective beach. The variation in the food web properties was explained by two principal components. Sandy beach food webs contribute mainly to one dimension of the principal components analysis that was determined by the number of trophic species, links per species, the trophic similarity, and the characteristic path length. We suggest that species and link characteristics, such as predominance of scavengers and detritivorous, the relatively high connectance and the short path length are drivers in the food web structure and may play a role in the community dynamic.

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