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Food Web Complexity and Species Diversity
Robert T. Paine
The American Naturalist
Vol. 100, No. 910 (Jan. - Feb., 1966), pp. 65-75
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2459379
Page Count: 11
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Species diversity, Carnivores, Predation, Marine ecology, Synecology, Predators, Ecological zones, Ecological succession, Wetland ecology, Population ecology
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It is suggested that local animal species diversity is related to the number of predators in the system and their efficiency in preventing single species from monopolizing some important, limiting, requisite. In the marine rocky intertidal this requisite usually is space. Where predators capable of preventing monopolies are missing, or are experimentally removed, the systems become less diverse. On a local scale, no relationship between latitude (10⚬ to 49⚬ N.) and diversity was found. On a geographic scale, an increased stability of annual production may lead to an increased capacity for systems to support higher-level carnivores. Hence tropical, or other, ecosystems are more diverse, and are characterized by disproportionately more carnivores.
The American Naturalist © 1966 The University of Chicago Press