Analytical solution of a model for complex food webs

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 Mar;65(3 Pt 1):030901. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.65.030901. Epub 2002 Feb 8.

Abstract

We investigate numerically and analytically a recently proposed model for food webs [Nature 404, 180 (2000)] in the limit of large web sizes and sparse interaction matrices. We obtain analytical expressions for several quantities with ecological interest, in particular, the probability distributions for the number of prey and the number of predators. We find that these distributions have fast-decaying exponential and Gaussian tails, respectively. We also find that our analytical expressions are robust to changes in the details of the model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ecology*
  • Food*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical