Food Webs Trace the Structure of an Ecosystem [Video]

Custom software helps delineate connections between organisms and predicts how a given ecosystem would respond to change


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Life is too complex to be described by a simple food chain. Food webs offer a three-dimensional representation of predator–prey relationships within a habitat, providing a more nuanced view of the myriad connections between species. As the video below shows, scientists also hope to use these food webs as a predictive tool to model how an ecosystem will respond to changes, such as invasion by a new species or the degradation of the web due to the loss of a particular organism.

» View the interactive food webs of the Adriatic Sea in the March issue's Graphic Science column, "The Dwindling Web."

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