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Harvard Forest Data Archive
Modeling Foundation Species in Food WebsRelated Publications
- hf211-01: MatLab code for model runs and output. Built and run under MatLab R2011a.
- hf211-02: MatLab code for iterating each time step (Equations 2a and 2b in Baiser et al. 2013). Called by hf211-01-fex1.m.
- Lead: Aaron Ellison
- Investigators: Benjamin Baiser, Nathaniel Whitaker
- Contact: Aaron Ellison
- Start date:
- End date:
- Status: completed
- Release date: 2013
- EML file: knb-lter-hfr.211.2
- DOI: digital object identifier
- Related links:
- Air and Soil Temperature in Hemlock Removal Experiment at Harvard Forest since 2004
- Ant Diversity and Vegetation Composition in Hemlock Removal Experiment at Harvard Forest 2006
- Ants and Ecosystem Function in Hemlock Removal Experiment at Harvard Forest since 2006
- Food Web of Sarracenia Purpurea in United States and Canada since 1999
- Inorganic Nitrogen Pools and Tree Composition in Hemlock Removal Experiment at Harvard Forest 2007-2009
- Light Environment in Hemlock Removal Experiment at Harvard Forest since 2004
- Mark-Recapture of Rodent and Shrew Populations in a Declining Hemlock Stand at Harvard Forest 2012
- Structure of Ant Communities in Declining Hemlock Stands at Harvard Forest 2003
- Understory Vegetation in Hemlock Removal Experiment at Harvard Forest since 2003
- Ungulate-Disturbance Interactions in Hemlock Ecosystems at Harvard Forest since 2012
- Study type: modeling
- Research topic: ecological informatics and modelling
- LTER core area: primary production, populations
- Keywords: food webs, metabolism, modeling, trophic structure
Foundation species are basal species that play an important role in determining community composition by physically structuring ecosystems and modulating ecosystem processes. Foundation species largely operate via non-trophic interactions, presenting a challenge to incorporating them into food-web models. Here, we used non-linear, bioenergetic predator-prey models to explore the role of foundation species and their non-trophic effects. We explored four types of models in which the foundation species reduced the metabolic rates of species in a specific trophic position. We examined the outcomes of each of these models for six metabolic rate “treatments” in which the foundation species altered the metabolic rates of associated species by one-tenth to ten times their allometric baseline metabolic rates. For each model simulation, we looked at how foundation species influenced food-web structure during community assembly and the subsequent change in food-web structure when the foundation species was removed. When a foundation species lowered the metabolic rate of only basal species the resultant webs were complex, species-rich, and robust to foundation species removals. On the other hand, when a foundation species lowered the metabolic rate of only consumer species, all species, or no species the resultant webs were species poor and the subsequent removal of the foundation species webs resulted in the further loss of species and complexity. This suggests that in nature we should look for foundation species to predominantly facilitate basal species.
Models were built and run under MatLab R2011a. For equation details, please see: Baiser, B., N. Whitaker, and A. M. Ellison, 2013, Modeling foundation species in food webs, Ecosphere 4.
This dataset is released to the public under Creative Commons license CC BY (Attribution). Please keep the designated contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement.
Ellison A. 2013. Modeling Foundation Species in Food Webs. Harvard Forest Data Archive: HF211.
hf211-01: MatLab code for model runs and output. Built and run under MatLab R2011a.
- Format: MatLab code
- Type: MatLab code
hf211-02: MatLab code for iterating each time step (Equations 2a and 2b in Baiser et al. 2013). Called by hf211-01-fex1.m.
- Format: MatLab code
- Type: MatLab code