Food Webs pp 84-98 | Cite as

Food web complexity II: empirical results

  • Stuart L. Pimm
Part of the Population and Community Biology book series (PCB)


The last chapter concerned the question: does the requirement of stability impose upper or lower bounds on how complex a food web can be? This chapter presents three kinds of empirical evidence which bear upon this question. The first is direct tests of the relationship between complexity and stability. The second involves attempts to demonstrate the theoretically suggested hyperbolic relationship between the connectance and the number of species. Finally, there is the indirect evidence on the consequences of species removals; this evaluates whether donor-controlled dynamics are good descriptions of the real world.


Interaction Strength Species Number Species Density Coralline Alga Species Loss 
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Copyright information

© Stuart L. Pimm 1982

Authors and Affiliations

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

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