The marine fish food web is globally connected

Type Article
Date 2019-08
Language English
Author(s) Albouy CamilleORCID1, Archambault Philippe2, Appeltans Ward3, Araujo Miguel B.4, 5, 6, Beauchesne David7, Cazelles KevinORCID8, Cirtwill Alyssa R.9, 20, Fortin Marie-Josee10, Galiana Nuria11, Leroux Shawn J.12, Pellissier Loik13, 14, Poisot Timothee15, 16, Stouffer Daniel B.9, Wood Spencer A.17, 18, Gravel Dominique15, 19
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Unite Ecol & Modeles Halieut, Nantes, France.
2 : Univ Laval, Fac Sci & Genie, Dept Biol, Quebec City, PQ, Canada.
3 : UNESCO, Ocean Biogeog Informat Syst, Intergovt Oceanog Commiss, IODE, Oostende, Belgium.
4 : CSIC, Dept Biogeog & Cambio Global, Museo Nacl Ciencias Nat, Madrid, Spain.
5 : Univ Evora, InBio Ctr Invest Biodiversidade & Recursos Genet, Evora, Portugal.
6 : Univ Copenhagen, Nat Hist Museum Denmark, Ctr Macroecol Evolut & Climate, Copenhagen, Denmark.
7 : Univ Quebec Rimouski, Inst Sci Mer, Rimouski, PQ, Canada.
8 : Univ Guelph, Dept Integrat Biol, Guelph, ON, Canada.
9 : Univ Canterbury, Ctr Integrat Ecol, Sch Biol Sci, Christchurch, New Zealand.
10 : Univ Toronto, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol, Toronto, ON, Canada.
11 : CNRS, Ctr Biodivers Theory & Modelling Stn Ecol Theor &, Moulis, France.
12 : Mem Univ, Dept Biol, St John, NF, Canada.
13 : Swiss Fed Inst Technol, Dept Environm Syst Sci, Inst Terr Ecosyst, Landscape Ecol, Zurich, Switzerland.
14 : Swiss Fed Res Inst WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
15 : Univ Montreal, Dept Sci Biol, Montreal, PQ, Canada.
16 : McGill Univ, Quebec Ctr Biodivers Sci, Montreal, PQ, Canada.
17 : Univ Washington, EarthLab, Seattle, WA 98195 USA.
18 : Univ Washington, eSci Inst, Seattle, WA 98195 USA.
19 : Univ Sherbrooke, Dept Biol, Sherbrooke, PQ, Canada.
20 : Linkoping Stockholm Univ, Dept Ecol Evolut & Plant SciencesPhys Chem & Biol, Stockholm, Sweden.
Source Nature Ecology & Evolution (2397-334X) (Nature Publishing Group), 2019-08 , Vol. 3 , N. 8 , P. 1153-1161
DOI 10.1038/s41559-019-0950-y
WOS© Times Cited 61

The productivity of marine ecosystems and the services they provide to humans are largely dependent on complex interactions between prey and predators. These are embedded in a diverse network of trophic interactions, resulting in a cascade of events following perturbations such as species extinction. The sheer scale of oceans, however, precludes the characterization of marine feeding networks through de novo sampling. This effort ought instead to rely on a combination of extensive data and inference. Here we investigate how the distribution of trophic interactions at the global scale shapes the marine fish food web structure. We hypothesize that the heterogeneous distribution of species ranges in biogeographic regions should concentrate interactions in the warmest areas and within species groups. We find that the inferred global metaweb of marine fish-that is, all possible potential feeding links between co-occurring species-is highly connected geographically with a low degree of spatial modularity. Metrics of network structure correlate with sea surface temperature and tend to peak towards the tropics. In contrast to open-water communities, coastal food webs have greater interaction redundancy, which may confer robustness to species extinction. Our results suggest that marine ecosystems are connected yet display some resistance to perturbations because of high robustness at most locations.

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Albouy Camille, Archambault Philippe, Appeltans Ward, Araujo Miguel B., Beauchesne David, Cazelles Kevin, Cirtwill Alyssa R., Fortin Marie-Josee, Galiana Nuria, Leroux Shawn J., Pellissier Loik, Poisot Timothee, Stouffer Daniel B., Wood Spencer A., Gravel Dominique (2019). The marine fish food web is globally connected. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(8), 1153-1161. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :