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Dynamic Architecture of Biological Networks

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CSSS Santa Fe 2010

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In food webs, predation dynamics effect populations over the short time scale, but also affects network structure in the long term by the mechanism of extinction. Conversely, the couplings represented by the network structure constrain the short-term predation dynamics.

As new species are gradually introduced into a model food web, the network architecture and network dynamics interact, sometimes leading to large stable feeding networks and sometimes to massive extinction events. We are designing simulations to study the characteristic properties of stable, longitudinally-constructed food webs and the nature of the events that stabilize or destabilize them.