Parasites in kelp-forest food webs increase food-chain length, complexity, and specialization, but reduce connectance

Dana Morton & Kevin Lafferty
We explored whether parasites are important in kelp forests by examining their effects on a high-quality, high-resolution kelp-forest food web. After controlling for generic effects of network size, parasites affected kelp-forest food web structure in some ways consistent with other systems. Parasites increased the trophic span of web, increasing top predator vulnerability and the longest chain length. Unique links associated with parasites, such as concomitant predation (consumption of parasites along with their hosts by predators)...
1 citation reported since publication in 2021.
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