Network Biology, 2014, 4(4): 170-178
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Effect of parasitism on food webs: Topological analysis and goodness test of cascade model

WenJun Zhang1,2, LiQin Jiang1, WenJin Chen1
1School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
2International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong

Received 15 August 2014;Accepted 26 September 2014;Published online 1 December 2014

In this study, we used Pajek to analyze the effect of parasitism on food webs collected from Carpinteria Salt Marsh (CSM). Results showed that median and mean of generality and vulnerability for predator-prey and parasite-host sub-webs were greater than the reported previously. Inclusion of parasites significantly increased the mean generality and vulnerability of the full food web. Effectiveness of cascade model was tested using CSM and arthropod food webs. The results demonstrated that fitting goodness on the predator-prey sub-web without parasites was lower than that on the full CSM food web. Also, cascade model performed worse in fitting arthropod food webs.

Keywords food webs;parasites;Pajek;network analysis;cascade model.

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