• Trophic Cascades

    • Fulltext

       

        Click here to view fulltext PDF


      Permanent link:
      https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/023/11/1205-1213

    • Keywords

       

      Trophic cascade, trophic downgrading, trophic tangles, food web, aquatic ecosystem, resource, consumer, biomanipulation.

    • Abstract

       

      In many ecosystems, apex consumers (top predators) play acrucial role in food web dynamics. Their top-down impactsare known to spread downwards through the food webs ina cascading fashion. Trophic cascades manifest when toppredators are excluded from an ecosystem or introduced intoa system lacking them. Two such case studies are describedhere. Trophic cascades are generally more pronounced in theaquatic than in the terrestrial ecosystems, which in turn isrelated to the differences in the average body sizes of herbivoresrelative to the plant resources they feed upon andin the structure of their food webs. Scientists express concernthat human activities have been leading to planet-widetrophic downgrading (loss of apex consumers) which couldaffect vital ecological processes of the biosphere.

    • Author Affiliations

       

      T R Rao1

      1. 19, Shakti Apartments, Phase-III, Ashok Vihar, Delhi 110 052, India.
    • Dates

       
  • Resonance – Journal of Science Education | News

© 2017-2019 Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru.