There's no harm in having too much: A comprehensive toolbox of methods in trophic ecology

Type Article
Date 2018-12
Language English
Author(s) Majdi Nabil1, 2, 3, Hette-Tronquart Nicolas1, 4, Auclair Etienne1, 5, Bec Alexandre1, 6, Chouvelon Tiphaine1, 7, Cognie Bruno1, 9, Danger Michael1, 8, Decottignies Priscilla1, 9, Dessier Aurélie1, 10, Desvilettes Christian1, 6, Dubois StanislasORCID1, 11, Dupuy Christine1, 10, Fritsch Clémentine1, 12, Gaucherel Cédric1, 13, Hedde Mickaël1, 14, Jabot Franck1, 15, Lefebvre Sebastien1, 16, 17, Marzloff MartinORCID1, 11, Pey Benjamin1, 3, Peyrard Nathalie1, 5, Powolny Thibaut1, 12, Sabbadin Régis1, 5, Thébault Elisa1, 18, Perga Marie-Elodie1, 19
Affiliation(s) 1 : GRET (Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie Trophique), GDR 3716 CNRS INEE INRA, France
2 : Universität Bielefeld, Abteilung Tierökologie, Konsequenz 45, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
3 : Université de Toulouse, EcoLab, UMR 5245 CNRS, INP, UPS, ENSAT, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse, France
4 : Irstea, UR HYCAR, 1 rue Pierre Gilles-de-Gennes, 92160 Antony, France
5 : INRA – MIAT, UR 875, INRA, 24, Chemin de Borde Rouge, 31320 Castanet-Tolosan, France
6 : Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, LMGE, 1 impasse Amélie Murat, 63178 Aubière, France
7 : IFREMER – BE, LBCM, Centre Atlantique, rue de l'île d'Yeu, 44311 Nantes, France
8 : Université de Lorraine, LIEC, UMR 7360 CNRS, rue Claude Bernard, 57070 Metz, France
9 : Université de Nantes, IUML Mer-Molécules-Santé (MMS), UMR 3473 CNRS, 2 rue de la Houssinière, 44322 Nantes, France
10 : Université de La Rochelle, LIENSs, UMR 7266 CNRS, 2 rue Olympe de Gouges, 17000 La Rochelle, France
11 : IFREMER – DYNECO, LEBCO, Centre de Bretagne, CS 10070, 29 280 Plouzané, France
12 : Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Chrono-environnement, UMR 6249 CNRS, INRA, 16 route de Gray, 25030 Besançon, France
13 : Université Montpellier, AMAP - INRA, CIRAD, CNRS, IRD, Montpellier, France
14 : INRA – Eco&Sols, UMR 1222, 2 Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France
15 : Irstea, UR LISC, Campus des Cézeaux, 9 avenue Blaise Pascal, 63178 Aubière, France
16 : Université de Lille, LOG, UMR 8187 CNRS, ULCO, 28 Avenue Foch, 62930 Wimereux, France
17 : IFREMER – Laboratoire Ressources Halieutiques, 150 Quai Gambetta, 62321 Boulogne-sur-mer, France
18 : Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France
19 : University of Lausanne, Institute of Earth surface Dynamics, Lausanne, Switzerland
Source Food Webs (23522496) (Elsevier BV), 2018-12 , Vol. 17 , P. e00100 (18p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.fooweb.2018.e00100
Keyword(s) Food web, Feeding interactions, Flux of energy, Computer simulations, Trophic models

Trophic ecology is the study of feeding interactions and food acquisition by organisms. It includes the causes and consequences of those behaviours at all levels of biological organisation. As a field of research, it crosses many disciplinary boundaries and provides knowledge that is pertinent to many other areas of ecology. Here we list and categorise the methods available to trophic ecologists whose toolbox has broadened considerably in recent years. They encompass empirical and numerical approaches with focus ranging from molecules to ecosystems. We further examine the relationship of each method to features such as the scale of observation (from microbes to largest organisms) and organisational level (from individuals to ecosystems) as well as the ecological question the method is capable of answering (from detecting predator-prey relationships to studying implications and consequences at different scales). Our survey reveals a very wide range of methodologies, each more-or-less appropriate for a particular line of research. It also identifies deficits, for example, trophic interactions at microscopic scales, for which empirical methods have hardly been used, as well as trophic models that have failed to consider fluxes at the ecosystem scale. Furthermore, we note that the combination of methodologies remains under-exploited despite great opportunities to solve complex ecological questions and to foster the emergence of new insights and hypotheses regarding organism, population and/or ecosystem properties.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
18 774 KB Access on demand
11 236 KB Access on demand
810 bytes Access on demand
Author's final draft 78 669 KB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Majdi Nabil, Hette-Tronquart Nicolas, Auclair Etienne, Bec Alexandre, Chouvelon Tiphaine, Cognie Bruno, Danger Michael, Decottignies Priscilla, Dessier Aurélie, Desvilettes Christian, Dubois Stanislas, Dupuy Christine, Fritsch Clémentine, Gaucherel Cédric, Hedde Mickaël, Jabot Franck, Lefebvre Sebastien, Marzloff Martin, Pey Benjamin, Peyrard Nathalie, Powolny Thibaut, Sabbadin Régis, Thébault Elisa, Perga Marie-Elodie (2018). There's no harm in having too much: A comprehensive toolbox of methods in trophic ecology. Food Webs, 17, e00100 (18p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :