Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Influences of Microbial Networks on Food Webs

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

Food webs are used to depict predator and prey interactions among species in ecosystems. However, in a realistic food web the pathways are so numerous that they are untraceable. Once the web is mapped into an adjacency matrix, it becomes possible to analyze it using the techniques of linear algebra. We added microbial loops or the matrix transpose to published food webs. We then analyzed all of the matrices using their eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Our manipulations to the matrices vastly increased pathway proliferation as measured by eigenvalues, and emphasized the often ignored but dominant role of bacteria in connecting food webs.

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Influences of Microbial Networks on Food Webs

Food webs are used to depict predator and prey interactions among species in ecosystems. However, in a realistic food web the pathways are so numerous that they are untraceable. Once the web is mapped into an adjacency matrix, it becomes possible to analyze it using the techniques of linear algebra. We added microbial loops or the matrix transpose to published food webs. We then analyzed all of the matrices using their eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Our manipulations to the matrices vastly increased pathway proliferation as measured by eigenvalues, and emphasized the often ignored but dominant role of bacteria in connecting food webs.