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Complex Food Webs and Manipulative Experiments in Ecology

Richard A. Bradley
Oikos
Vol. 41, No. 1 (Aug., 1983), pp. 150-152
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3544363
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3544363
Page Count: 3
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Complex Food Webs and Manipulative Experiments in Ecology
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Abstract

Manipulative field experiments have recently gained favor among ecologists. Well designed experiments may provide valuable information, but experimental design must be carefully considered. The effect of complex food web interactions is often ignored when conducting field manipulations. The prevalence of reciprocal predation loops and redundant predator food chains can potentially muddle the predictions of field experiments. Consideration of all important links in such food webs is a precondition to clear interpretation of any experimental results.

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