The Structure of Cycling in the Ythan Estuary
A method for identifying all the simple, directed cycles in a network of ecosystems flows is described. Furthermore, the cycles may be divided into distinct groups, or nexuses, distinguished by certain critical links. These groupings may also be used to analytically separate the network into two constituent graphs — one graph containing only cycled flow and the other consisting of only once-through pathways.
The analysis, when applied to the carbon flow in the Ythan estuary, graphically portrays both the importance and the vulnerability of the higher trophic level transfers.
KeywordsEntropy Phytoplankton Respiration Macrophyte Detritus
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