Camille Carpentier (Université de Namur)
December 2 @ 13:00 - 14:00
Title: Using degree distribution of ecological networks to predict their responses to random and targeted species removals
Facing the current biodiversity crisis, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to understand – and predict – the consequences of species removal on ecological networks. These complex networks can be described using simple metrics such as the number of species (nodes), the number of interactions between them (edges) and their degree distribution. Coupling these three pieces of information allows us to predict the topological impacts of species removal and provides a first tool to identify the most fragile networks and which species removals would be most deleterious. A fundamental step for this approach is to describe the relationship between the number of species and the number of interactions as a network-specific property, whereas until now ecologists have assumed it as universal. The interaction-species relationship is based on the degree distribution of ecological networks (power-law, exponential or uniform) could therefore be generalised to other types of complex networks and provide a first understanding of their resistance to node removal.