Food Web Structure and the Evolution of Complex Networks
In addition to traditional properties such as the degree distribution P(k), in this work we propose two other useful quantities that can help in characterizing the topology of food webs quantitatively, namely the allometric scaling relations C(A) and the branch size distribution P(A) which are defined on the spanning tree of the webs. These quantities, whose use has proved relevant in characterizing other different networks appearing in nature (such as river basins, Internet, and vascular systems), are related (in the context of food webs) to the efficiency in the resource transfer and to the stability against species removal. We present the analysis of the data for both real food webs and numerical simulations of a growing network model. Our results allow us to conclude that real food webs display a high degree of both efficiency and stability due to the evolving character of their topology.
KeywordsTrophic Level Span Tree Random Graph Degree Distribution Directed Connectance
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