Productivity, disturbance and food web structure at a local spatial scale in experimental container habitats

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Using water-filled container analogues of natural treeholes placed in a subtropical rainforest, the source of energy in both experimental and natural systems was detrital leaves. Ten-fold and hundred-fold reductions in energy input reduced food chain lengths by an extra link. The principal predator was less prevalent in less productive habitat units. Food webs with fewer trophic links and fewer species were found in habitat units that were less productive. Numbers of species, trophic links and abundance of the most common prey species increased during food web assembly. A natural perturbation created by low rainfall caused numbers of species, trophic links and food chain length to be temporarily reduced at 36 wk. The effect on food chain length was most marked in the most productive system. While relatively long food chains were possibly only in the most productive systems, these systems were especially vulnerable to external perturbations. -from Authors

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jenkins, B; Kitching, RL; Pimm, SL

Published Date

  • January 1, 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 249 - 255

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0030-1299

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/3545016

Citation Source

  • Scopus