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Expanding network ecology in freshwater ecosystems

Windsor, F. M. ORCID: 2023. Expanding network ecology in freshwater ecosystems. Journal of Animal Ecology 92 (9) , pp. 1575-1588. 10.1111/1365-2656.13947

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1. Research in freshwater ecosystems has always had a strong focus on ecological interactions. The vast majority of studies, however, have investigated trophic interactions and food webs, overlooking a wider suite of non-trophic interactions (e.g. facilitation, competition, symbiosis and parasitism) and the ecological networks they form. 2. Without a complete understanding of all potential interactions, ranging from mutualistic through to antagonistic, we may be missing important ecological processes with consequences for ecosystem assembly, structure and function. Ecological networks can be constructed at different scales, from genes to ecosystems, but also local to global, and as such there is significant opportunity to put them to work in freshwater research. 3. To expand beyond food webs, we need to leverage technological and methodological advances and look to recent research in marine and terrestrial systems—which are far more advanced in terms of detecting, measuring and contextualising ecological interactions. 4. Future studies should look to emerging technologies to aid in merging the wide range of ecological interactions in freshwater ecosystems into networks to advance our understanding and ultimately increase the efficacy of conservation, management, restoration and other applications.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0021-8790
Funders: Natural Environment Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 July 2023
Date of Acceptance: 11 May 2023
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 17:19

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