Food Webs

  • Stuart L. Pimm

Part of the Population and Community Biology book series (PCB)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 1-11
  3. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 12-41
  4. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 42-59
  5. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 60-83
  6. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 84-98
  7. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 99-130
  8. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 131-142
  9. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 143-164
  10. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 165-185
  11. Stuart L. Pimm
    Pages 186-203
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 204-219

About this book


Often the meanings of words are changed subtly for interesting reasons. The implication of the word 'community' has changed from including all the organisms in an area to only those species at a particular trophic level (and often a taxonomically restricted group), for example, 'bird-community'. If this observation is correct, its probable cause is the dramatic growth in our knowledge of the ecological patterns along trophic levels (I call these horizontal patterns) and the processes that generate them. This book deals with vertical patterns - those across trophic levels -and tries to compensate for their relative neglect. In cataloging a dozen vertical patterns I hope to convince the reader that species interactions across trophic levels are as patterned as those along trophic levels and demand explanations equally forcefully. But this is not the only objective. A limited number of processes shape the patterns of species interaction; to demonstrate their existence is an essential step in understanding why ecosystems are the way they are. To achieve these aims I must resort to both mathematical techniques to develop theories and statistical techniques to decide between rival hypotheses. The level of mathematics is likely to offend nearly everyone. Some will find any mathematics too much, while others will consider the material to be old, familiar ground and probably explained with a poor regard for rigour and generality.


complexity ecosystem energy environment growth stability statistics

Authors and affiliations

  • Stuart L. Pimm
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Ecology and Department of ZoologyUniversity of TennesseeUSA

Bibliographic information