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Pelagic trophic network in the Scotia Sea (2006-2009)


Among all possible interaction types, trophic interactions are easily observable and essential in terms of energy transfer, and thus binary networks have arisen as the most straightforward method to describe complex ecological communities. These food-web models also inform on the ecosystem dynamics and function, and the patterns arising from food web topology can be indicators for ecosystem stability. We present a comprehensive pelagic network for the Scotia Sea underpinned by surveys and dietary studies conducted in the Scotia Sea in the last century. Selection of the trophic links followed a protocol based on taxonomy and geographic location, and was further refined based on the consumer and resource depth ranges and their body size ratios. The resulting network consists on 228 nodes and 10880 links which represent the main trophic paths in the Scotia Sea ecosystem and can serve as a basis for ecosystem modelling in the Scotia Sea or comparison with other ecosystems.

Funding was provided by NERC Highlight Topic grant NE/N005937/1 and NERC Fellowship NE/L011840/1.

Scotia Sea, Southern Ocean, pelagic ecosystem, trophic interactions, trophic network

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