Speaker: Xueke Lu
Title: Exploiting self-organisation and robustness in ecological networks
Food webs, as a type of complex networks originated from ecosystems, describe feeding connections (who eats whom) in an ecological community. They are highly dynamic, totally self-organized, and often subject to a wide range of perturbations that may lead to rippling effects in networks. For instance, food webs are exposed to numerous environmental (e.g. climate change, acidification, pollution) and biotic (e.g. invasive species) stressors, whose impacts on biodiversity have been the subject of considerable research activity. Robustness refers to a system’s ability to sustain its behaviour when it is disturbed and it is often used to assess the effect of perturbations. How self-organisation and network robustness are reflected by the topological structure of the food webs is one of the questions that remains to be answered. In this talk, I will introduce a recently proposed network metrics to detect cohesive subgroups that formed by highly interconnected species (i.e. core/periphery structure) and assess substructral changes in modules within the food web under extreme environment conditions. More importantly, conjectures are made on how this internal substructure will reflect the food web robustness.
Date: 21st May, 2014.
Time: 14.00-15.00 hrs
Venue: QMUL Math 1.03