Among recently studied real-world networks, food webs are particularly interesting since they provide an example of biological organization at the largest scale, namely that of ecological communities. Quite surprisingly, recent results reveal that food webs do not display those properties which are observed in almost all other networks, such as a scale-free degree distribution and a large clustering coefficient. However, when food webs are regarded from the point of view of trasportation networks, it is possible to uncover very interesting scaling properties which are displayed by other trasportation systems, namely vascular and river networks. While other topological properties appear to vary across different webs depending on specific aspects, such scaling relations are universal. An interpretation of these results in terms of the interplay of universal and nonuniversal mechanisms in food web evolution is suggested.
KeywordsRecent Result Large Cluster Specific Aspect Degree Distribution Topological Property
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.J.H. Lawton, in Ecological Concepts, edited by J.M. Cherret (Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, 1989), pp. 43-78Google Scholar
- 4.S.L. Pimm, Food Webs (Chapman & Hall, London, 1982)Google Scholar
- 5.J.E. Cohen, F. Briand, C.M. Newman, Community Food Webs: Data and Theory (Springer, Berlin, 1990)Google Scholar
- 11.I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, A. Rinaldo, Fractal River Basins: Chance and Self-Organization (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1996)Google Scholar
- 15.C.S. Elton, Animal Ecology (Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1927)Google Scholar
- 32.B.B. Mandelbrot, The Fractal Geometry of Nature (Freeman, San Francisco, 1983)Google Scholar