We performed a stability analysis of 119 quantitative food webs which were compiled using a standard methodology to build Ecopath mass-balance models. Our analysis reveals that classic descriptors of complexity do not affect stability in natural food webs. Food web structure, which is non-random in real communities, reflects another form of complexity that we found influences dramatically the stability of real communities. We conclude that the occurrence of complex communities in nature is possible owing to their trophic structure.
No complexity-stability relationship in natural communities
Claire Jacquet, Charlotte Moritz, Lyne Morissette, Pierre Legagneux, François Massol, Phillippe Archambault, Dominique Gravel