Richard Law -- Abstract

Ecological Networks

There is a suggestion that ecological networks of interacting species are unusual in that they lack some of the small-world properties of other kinds of network. This talk examines some processes that might make ecological networks special. First, ecological networks have dynamics that stem from the birth and death of individuals: it is only those networks with dynamics that allow their continued existence that we actually see. Second, the networks do not arise fully made: they are constructed by the sequential arrival of species and the reorganisation of links that follows from this. Third, evolution of the species that make up the nodes takes place due to the forces of natural selection caused by the interactions, and the presence of genetic variation. Such processes are special features of networks of living organisms and would be expected to affect the properties they have.

Page modified June 2005 by Richard G. Clegg