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Simple and compound network topologies in different modes of species interactions

Grant number: 20/06771-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): December 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Theoretical Ecology
Principal Investigator:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Grantee:Rafael Barros Pereira Pinheiro
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Within a biological community, species interact in antagonistic and mutualistic ways, building complex networks. Nestedness and modularity are common topologies in such networks and, despite being distinct and negatively correlated patterns, several networks show some combination of both. A solution for this seeming paradox is a compound topology, in which patterns predominate at different network hierarchical levels: the total network is composed of internally nested modules. Recent studies have provided theoretical and empirical evidence that compound topologies are prevalent in species interaction networks; however, to date this prediction has not been tested. In this project, first, we will systematically assess the prevalence of nested, modular and compound topologies. Next, we will test the effect of data quality and extent in topology detection, defining minimum criteria. Then we will evaluate causal factors for the distribution of topologies among network modes and test the effects of interaction intimacy and species diversity on topologies. Last, we will focus on changes in network topology across spatial scales and test two contrasting hypotheses: (1) the hierarchization of patterns within compound topologies is reflected in spatial scales, so that local networks are nested and form modules of regional compound networks; (2) local networks are largely modular, whereas nestedness prevails at larger spatial scales. We expect to produce at least two papers to submit to international journals, as well as non-academic diffusion through public communication media. (AU)