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Morphological patterns and community organization in leaf-litter ant assemblages

SILVA, Rogerio R.; BRANDAO, Carlos Roberto F.
Fonte: ECOLOGICAL SOC AMER Publicador: ECOLOGICAL SOC AMER
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.11%
We present a new approach to determine the number and composition of guilds, using the hyperdiverse leaf-litter ant fauna as a model, based on appropriate morphological variables and species co-occurrence null models to describe the complex assemblages of interacting Species Community structure at the 1-m(2) scale. We obtained 18 linear morphometric measures from 949 workers of 171 leaf-litter ant species (18762 measurements) surveyed in four Atlantic Forest localities to test whether the assemblages are morphologically structured; the morphological characters were selected to indicate diet and foraging habits. Principal components analysis was used to characterize the morphospace and to describe the guild structure (number of species and composition). The guild proportionality assembly rule (significant tendency toward constant proportion of species in guilds) was assessed at the 1-m(2) scale. Our analysis indicates that the division of leaf-litter ants into guilds is based mainly on microhabitat distribution in the leaf-litter, body size and shape, eye size, and phylogeny. The same guild scheme applied to four more sites shows that different Atlantic Forest areas have the same leaf-fitter ant guilds. The guild proportionality assembly rule was confirmed for most guilds...

Ecologia da vegetação em bancadas lateríticas em Corumbá, MS; Ecology of vegetation on ironstone outcrops (bancadas lateríticas) in Corumbá, MS, Brazil

Takahasi, Adriana
Fonte: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP Publicador: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 16/04/2010 PT
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.11%
Os afloramentos rochosos ferruginosos denominados bancadas lateríticas podem ser considerados uma paisagem peculiar no Centro-Oeste do Brasil, próximos às cidades de Corumbá e Ladário, MS. Embora situada em uma região populosa, próxima a fazendas e sítios urbanos, esta vegetação ainda é desconhecida. Neste estudo avaliamos a composição florística e a estrutura da comunidade, bem como suas relações florísticas com outros afloramentos rochosos. O levantamento foi conduzido em três locais - Banda Alta (19°08´S, 57°34´W, 85 m altitude); São Sebastião do Carandá (19°06´S, 57°31´W, 90 m) e Monjolinho (19°16´S, 57°31´W, 65-150 m). A vegetação encontrada nestes afloramentos rochosos ocorre como uma cobertura contínua sobre o substrato rochoso ou como ilhas de solo. Para o estrato contínuo, a vegetação foi amostrada em parcelas de 1 m² distribuídas aleatoriamente. A própria ilha de solo foi considerada uma unidade amostral. A composição de espécies e os valores de cobertura foram avaliados em cada parcela ou ilha de solo. Avaliaram-se 199 parcelas e 164 ilhas de solo neste estudo. Além da abundância das espécies o tamanho e outras características das ilhas de solo foram incluídas neste levantamento. Os dados foram explorados através de tabelas fitossociológicas e de técnicas estatísticas de classificação e ordenação. As relações florísticas foram exploradas nos níveis taxonômicos de famílias e gêneros pela comparação de listas de espécies publicadas de outros afloramentos. Foram amostradas 188 espécies pertencentes a 58 famílias nas três bancadas lateríticas. Deste total...

Trait contributions to fish community assembly emerge from trophic interactions in an individual-based model

Giacomini, Henrique C.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Trexler, Joel C.; Petrere, Miguel
Fonte: Universidade Estadual Paulista Publicador: Universidade Estadual Paulista
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: 32-43
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.25%
Community ecology seeks to understand and predict the characteristics of communities that can develop under different environmental conditions, but most theory has been built on analytical models that are limited in the diversity of species traits that can be considered simultaneously. We address that limitation with an individual-based model to simulate assembly of fish communities characterized by life history and trophic interactions with multiple physiological tradeoffs as constraints on species performance. Simulation experiments were carried out to evaluate the distribution of 6 life history and 4 feeding traits along gradients of resource productivity and prey accessibility. These experiments revealed that traits differ greatly in importance for species sorting along the gradients. Body growth rate emerged as a key factor distinguishing community types and defining patterns of community stability and coexistence, followed by egg size and maximum body size. Dominance by fast-growing, relatively large, and fecund species occurred more frequently in cases where functional responses were saturated (i.e. high productivity and/or prey accessibility). Such dominance was associated with large biomass fluctuations and priority effects...

Regime, phase and paradigm shifts: making community ecology the basic science for fisheries

Mangel, Marc; Levin, Phillip S.
Fonte: The Royal Society Publicador: The Royal Society
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.19%
Modern fishery science, which began in 1957 with Beverton and Holt, is ca. 50 years old. At its inception, fishery science was limited by a nineteenth century mechanistic worldview and by computational technology; thus, the relatively simple equations of population ecology became the fundamental ecological science underlying fisheries. The time has come for this to change and for community ecology to become the fundamental ecological science underlying fisheries. This point will be illustrated with two examples. First, when viewed from a community perspective, excess production must be considered in the context of biomass left for predators. We argue that this is a better measure of the effects of fisheries than spawning biomass per recruit. Second, we shall analyse a simple, but still multi-species, model for fishery management that considers the alternatives of harvest regulations, inshore marine protected areas and offshore marine protected areas. Population or community perspectives lead to very different predictions about the efficacy of reserves.

A taxonomic wish-list for community ecology.

Gotelli, Nicholas J
Fonte: PubMed Publicador: PubMed
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 29/04/2004 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.3%
Community ecology seeks to explain the number and relative abundance of coexisting species. Four research frontiers in community ecology are closely tied to research in systematics and taxonomy: the statistics of species richness estimators, global patterns of biodiversity, the influence of global climate change on community structure, and phylogenetic influences on community structure. The most pressing needs for taxonomic information in community ecology research are usable taxonomic keys, current nomenclature, species occurrence records and resolved phylogenies. These products can best be obtained from Internet-based phylogenetic and taxonomic resources, but the lack of trained professional systematists and taxonomists threatens this effort. Community ecologists will benefit most directly from research in systematics and taxonomy by making better use of resources in museums and herbaria, and by actively seeking training, information and collaborations with taxonomic specialists.

Phylogenetic community ecology needs to take positive interactions into account: Insights from colourful butterflies

Elias, Marianne; Gompert, Zachariah; Willmott, Keith; Jiggins, Chris
Fonte: Landes Bioscience Publicador: Landes Bioscience
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em //2009 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.24%
Phylogenetic community ecology uses phylogenetic relationships among species to infer the dominant processes that shape community ecological structure. This field has particularly focused on habitat filtering and competition, the latter driving divergence and competitive exclusion. However, the effects of positive interactions among species of the same guild have rarely been considered in either empirical studies or theoretical models. We have recently documented a pervasive influence of mutualism in driving adaptive convergence in ecological niche. Müllerian mimicry in butterflies is one of the best-studied examples of mutualism, where unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertise their toxicity to predators. We showed that species that share similar wing patterns are more similar in their ecology than expected given the phylogeny and co-exist at a fine spatial scale, thereby maximizing the warning signal to local predators. Evidence for competition was detected only among species with distinct wing patterns, implying that mutualistic interactions outweigh the effects of competition. Positive interactions among potential competitors are common among plants and animals. We argue that such forces should be considered in the field of phylogenetic community ecology...

Rooting Theories of Plant Community Ecology in Microbial Interactions

Bever, James D.; Dickie, Ian A.; Facelli, Evelina; Facelli, Jose M.; Klironomos, John; Moora, Mari; Rillig, Matthias C.; Stock, William D.; Tibbett, Mark; Zobel, Martin
Fonte: PubMed Publicador: PubMed
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.28%
Predominant frameworks for understanding plant ecology have an aboveground bias that neglects soil micro-organisms. This is inconsistent with recent work illustrating the importance of soil microbes in terrestrial ecology. Microbial effects have been incorporated into plant community dynamics using ideas of niche modification and plant-soil community feedbacks. Here, we expand and integrate qualitative conceptual models of plant niche and feedback to explore implications of microbial interactions for understanding plant community ecology. At the same time we review the empirical evidence for these processes. We also consider common mycorrhizal networks, and suggest these are best interpreted within the feedback framework. Finally, we apply our integrated model of niche and feedback to understanding plant coexistence, monodominance, and invasion ecology.

Entomopathogenic Nematodes as a Model System for Advancing the Frontiers of Ecology

Campos–Herrera, Raquel; Barbercheck, Mary; Hoy, Casey W.; Stock, S. Patricia
Fonte: The Society of Nematologists Publicador: The Society of Nematologists
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em /06/2012 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.09%
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) in the families Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae have a mutualistic–symbiotic association with enteric γ-Proteobacteria (Steinernema–Xenorhabdus and Heterorhabditis–Photorhabdus), which confer high virulence against insects. EPNs have been studied intensively because of their role as a natural mortality factor for soil-dwelling arthropods and their potential as biological control agents for belowground insect pests. For many decades, research on EPNs focused on the taxonomy, phylogeny, biogeography, genetics, physiology, biochemistry and ecology, as well as commercial production and application technologies. More recently, EPNs and their bacterial symbionts are being viewed as a model system for advancing research in other disciplines such as soil ecology, symbiosis and evolutionary biology. Integration of existing information, particularly the accumulating information on their biology, into increasingly detailed population models is critical to improving our ability to exploit and manage EPNs as a biological control agent and to understand ecological processes in a changing world. Here, we summarize some recent advances in phylogeny, systematics, biogeography, community ecology and population dynamics models of EPNs...

How community ecology can improve our understanding of cholera dynamics

Constantin de Magny, Guillaume; Hasan, Nur A.; Roche, Benjamin
Fonte: Frontiers Media S.A. Publicador: Frontiers Media S.A.
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 02/04/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.14%
Understanding the seasonal emergence and reemergence of cholera is challenging due to the complex dynamics of different protagonists. The abundance of Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera and a natural inhabitant of aquatic environments, fluctuates according to abiotic, and biotic factors. Among the biotic factors, the zooplankton community dynamics has been suggested to play a pivotal role in the survival, persistence, and natural competence of V. cholerae. However, factors regulating V. cholerae population structure and seasonal dynamics are still not fully understood. Investigation of the temporal shifts and variability in aquatic community composition in relation to the occurrence or abundance of V. cholerae appears very promising yet remained underexplored. Recent advances in metagenomics, facilitated by high-throughput ultra deep sequencing, have greatly improved our ability for a broader and deeper exploration of microbial communities including an understanding of community structure, function, as well as inter- and intra-specific competitions. Here, we discuss possible areas of research focusing how combination of community ecology and metagenomic approaches could be applied to study the cholera system.

Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary

Jackson, Stephen T.; Blois, Jessica L.
Fonte: National Academy of Sciences Publicador: National Academy of Sciences
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.27%
Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a “missing middle”: Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit.

Change in Phylogenetic Community Structure during Succession of Traditionally Managed Tropical Rainforest in Southwest China

Mo, Xiao-Xue; Shi, Ling-Ling; Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Zhu, Hua; Slik, J. W. Ferry
Fonte: Public Library of Science Publicador: Public Library of Science
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.3%
Tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia are facing increasing and ever more intense human disturbance that often negatively affects biodiversity. The aim of this study was to determine how tree species phylogenetic diversity is affected by traditional forest management types and to understand the change in community phylogenetic structure during succession. Four types of forests with different management histories were selected for this purpose: old growth forests, understorey planted old growth forests, old secondary forests (∼200-years after slash and burn), and young secondary forests (15–50-years after slash and burn). We found that tree phylogenetic community structure changed from clustering to over-dispersion from early to late successional forests and finally became random in old-growth forest. We also found that the phylogenetic structure of the tree overstorey and understorey responded differentially to change in environmental conditions during succession. In addition, we show that slash and burn agriculture (swidden cultivation) can increase landscape level plant community evolutionary information content.

Rooting theories of plant community ecology in microbial interactions

Bever, J.; Dickie, I.; Facelli, E.; Facelli, J.; Klironomos, J.; Moora, M.; Rillig, M.; Stock, W.; Tibbett, M.; Zobel, M.
Fonte: Elsevier Science London Publicador: Elsevier Science London
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em //2010 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.28%
Predominant frameworks for understanding plant ecology have an aboveground bias that neglects soil micro-organisms. This is inconsistent with recent work illustrating the importance of soil microbes in terrestrial ecology. Microbial effects have been incorporated into plant community dynamics using ideas of niche modification and plant–soil community feedbacks. Here, we expand and integrate qualitative conceptual models of plant niche and feedback to explore implications of microbial interactions for understanding plant community ecology. At the same time we review the empirical evidence for these processes. We also consider common mycorrhizal networks, and propose that these are best interpreted within the feedback framework. Finally, we apply our integrated model of niche and feedback to understanding plant coexistence, monodominance and invasion ecology.; James D. Bever, Ian A. Dickie, Evelina Facelli, Jose M. Facelli, John Klironomos, Mari Moora, Matthias C. Rillig, William D. Stock, Mark Tibbett and Martin Zobel

Combining mechanism and drift in community ecology: a novel statistical mechanics approach

Bertram, J.; Dewar, R. C.
Fonte: Springer Verlag Publicador: Springer Verlag
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.22%
A key challenge for models of community ecology is to combine deterministic mechanism and stochastic drift in a systematic, transparent and tractable manner. Another challenge is to explain and unify different ecological patterns, hitherto modelled in isolation, within a single modelling framework. Here, we show that statistical mechanics provides an effective way to meet both challenges. We apply the statistical principle of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) to a simple resource-based, non-neutral model of a plant community. In contrast to previous ecological applications of MaxEnt, our use of MaxEnt emphasises its theoretical basis in the combinatorics of sampling frequencies, an approach that clarifies its ecological interpretation. In this approach, mechanism and drift are identified, respectively, with ecological resource constraints and entropy maximization. We obtain realistic predictions for species abundance distributions as well as contrasting stability-diversity relationships at community and population levels. The model also predicts critical behaviour that may provide a basis for understanding desertification and other ecological tipping points. Our results complement and extend previous ecological applications of MaxEnt to new areas of community ecology...

Intercontinental Community Convergence of Ecology and Morphology in Desert Lizards

Harmon, Luke J.; Melville, Jane; Losos, Jonathan
Fonte: The Royal Society of London Publicador: The Royal Society of London
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.27%
Evolutionary ecologists have long debated the extent to which communities in similar environments but different geographic regions exhibit convergence. On the one hand, if species' adaptations and community structure are determined by environmental features, convergence would be expected. However, if historical contingencies have long-lasting effects convergence would be unlikely. Most studies to date have emphasized the differences between communities in similar environments and little quantitative evidence for convergence exists. The application of comparative phylogenetic methods to ecological studies provides an opportunity to further investigate hypotheses of convergence. We compared the evolutionary patterns of structural ecology and morphology of 42 species of iguanian lizards from deserts of Australia and North America. Using a comparative approach, we found that evolutionary convergence of ecology and morphology occurs both in overall, community-wide patterns and in terms of pairs of highly similar intercontinental pairs of species. This result indicates that in these desert lizards, deterministic adaptive evolution shapes community patterns and overrides the historical contingencies unique to particular lineages.; Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Community ecology of the metazoan parasites of Atlantic Moonfish, Selene setapinnis (Osteichthyes: Carangidae) from the coastal zone of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Cordeiro,A. S.; Luque,J. L.
Fonte: Instituto Internacional de Ecologia Publicador: Instituto Internacional de Ecologia
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/08/2004 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.11%
Eighty-nine specimens of Selene setapinnis (Mitchill, 1815) collected from the coastal zone of the State of Rio de Janeiro (21-23ºS, 41-45ºW and 23º05'S, 44º30'W), Brazil, from August 2001 to May 2002, were necropsied to study their metazoan parasites. Eighty-one (91%) specimens of S. setapinnis were parasitized by one or more metazoan species. Twenty-one species of parasites were collected: 8 digeneans, 3 monogeneans, 2 cestodes, 5 nematodes, and 3 copepods. The endoparasites (digeneans, cestodes, and nematodes) were 74.1% of total number of parasite specimens collected. The monogenean Pseudomazocraes selene (Hargis, 1957) was the most dominant species with the highest prevalence in the parasite community of S. setapinnis. The metazoan parasites of this host species showed the typical aggregated pattern of distribution. Only one parasite species (Acanthocolpoides pauloi Travassos, Freitas & Buhrnheim, 1955) showed positive correlation between the host total length and parasite abundance in S. setapinnis. Caligus robustus Bassett-Smith, 1898, P. selene, and Terranova sp. demonstrated positive correlation between the host total length and prevalence. Larvae of Terranova sp. showed influence of the host sex on its prevalence. A pair of ectoparasite species...

Community ecology of metazoan parasites of the anchovy Anchoa tricolor (Osteichthyes: Engraulidae) from the coastal zone of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tavares,L. E. R.; Luque,J. L.; Bicudo,A. J. A.
Fonte: Instituto Internacional de Ecologia Publicador: Instituto Internacional de Ecologia
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/08/2005 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.11%
Between October 2001 and March 2002, 103 specimens of A. tricolor from Angra dos Reis (23°01'S, 44°19'W), in the coastal zone of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were analyzed in order to study their metazoan parasite infracommunities. Ten species of metazoan parasites were collected: 4 digeneans, 1 cestode, 1 acantocephalan, 2 nematodes, 1 copepod, and 1 hirudinean; 77.7% of the fishes were parasitized by one or more metazoan, with a mean of 3.5 ± 6.2 parasite/fish. Digenean was the most dominant with 4 species that accounted for 53.2% of the total parasites collected; Ergasilus sp. was the most abundant species. Abundance and prevalence of Parahemiurus merus (Linton, 1910) were positively correlated with the total length of host. Relationships between total body length of fish and both total parasite abundance and mean parasite species richness were observed. Mean parasite diversity of species was correlated to host's total length, with significant differences found between male and female fishes. Two pairs of larval species showed significant positive association and covariation. The metazoan parasite infracommunities of A. tricolor presented dominance of larval endoparasites; correlation of parasite abundance...

Academic inequality through the lens of community ecology: a meta-analysis

Mori, Akira S.; Qian, Shenhua; Tatsumi, Shinichi
Fonte: PeerJ Inc. Publicador: PeerJ Inc.
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 03/12/2015 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.14%
Ecological assemblages are generally characterized by a few dominant species and numerous others. Such unequal distributions of dominance also emerge in human society, including in scientific communities. Here, based on formal community ecological analyses, we show the temporal trends in the number of scientific publication in the discipline of “ecology.” Based on this, we infer possible factors causing the imbalance of reputation and dominance among countries. We relied on 454 ecological meta-analysis papers published from 1998 to 2014, which sourced over 29,000 original publications. Formal meta-analyses are essential for synthesizing findings from individual studies and are critical for assessing issues and informing policy. We found that, despite the rapid expansion of outlets for ecology papers (analogous to an increase in carrying capacity, in ecological systems), country diversity as determined from first author affiliations (analogous to species diversity) did not increase. Furthermore, a country identity was more powerful than the popularity of the scientific topic and affected the chance of publication in high-profile journals, independent of the potential novelty of findings and arguments of the papers, suggesting possible academic injustice. Consequently...

Is a community still a community? Reviewing definitions of key terms in community ecology

Stroud, James T.; Bush, Michael R.; Ladd, Mark C.; Nowicki, Robert J.; Shantz, Andrew A.; Sweatman, Jennifer
Fonte: John Wiley and Sons Inc. Publicador: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 07/10/2015 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.32%
Community ecology is an inherently complicated field, confounded by the conflicting use of fundamental terms. Nearly two decades ago, Fauth et al. (1996) demonstrated that imprecise language led to the virtual synonymy of important terms and so attempted to clearly define four keywords in community ecology; “community,” “assemblage,” “guild,” and “ensemble”. We revisit Fauth et al.'s conclusion and discuss how the use of these terms has changed over time since their review. An updated analysis of term definition from a selection of popular ecological textbooks suggests that definitions have drifted away from those encountered pre‐1996, and slightly disagreed with results from a survey of 100 ecology professionals (comprising of academic professors, nonacademic PhDs, graduate and undergraduate biology students). Results suggest that confusion about these terms is still widespread in ecology. We conclude with clear suggestions for definitions of each term to be adopted hereafter to provide greater cohesion among research groups.

An analytically tractable model for community ecology with many species

Dickens, Benjamin; Fisher, Charles K.; Mehta, Pankaj
Fonte: Universidade Cornell Publicador: Universidade Cornell
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
Publicado em 30/11/2015
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.27%
A fundamental problem in community ecology is to understand how ecological processes such as selection, drift, and immigration give rise to observed patterns in species composition and diversity. Here, we present a simple, analytically tractable, presence-absence (PA) model for community assembly and use it to ask how ecological traits such as the strength of competition, the amount of diversity, and demographic and environmental stochasticity affect species composition in a community. In the PA model, species are treated as stochastic binary variables that can either be present or absent in a community: species can immigrate into the community from a regional species pool and can go extinct due to competition and stochasticity. Despite its simplicity, the PA model reproduces the qualitative features of more complicated models of community assembly. In agreement with recent work on large, competitive Lotka-Volterra systems, the PA model exhibits distinct ecological behaviors organized around a special ("critical") point corresponding to Hubbell's neutral theory of biodiversity. These results suggest that the concepts of ecological "phases" and phase diagrams can provide a powerful framework for thinking about community ecology and that the PA model captures the essential ecological dynamics of community assembly.; Comment: 15 pages...

Recasting spatial food web ecology as an ecosystem science

François Massol; Dominique Gravel; Nicolas Mouquet; Marc W. Cadotte; Tadashi Fukami; Mathew A. Leibold
Fonte: Nature Preceedings Publicador: Nature Preceedings
Tipo: Conferência ou Objeto de Conferência
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.24%
Background/questions/methods Food webs are complex systems in which organisms interact with each other and with the abiotic aspects of their environment, thus acting as the conduit for transfers of energy and nutrients through ecosystems. Classical approaches to food webs focus strongly on patterns and processes occurring at the community level rather than at the broader ecosystem scale. Recent developments in community ecology suggest that spatial processes may be important in affecting food web dynamics and affect ecosystems as well, thus leading to the idea of meta-ecosystems. Here, we make a synthesis on how the links between food web dynamics and spatial ecosystem dynamics may be studied through (i) identifying differences between metacommunity and landscape ecology approaches when dealing with food webs, (ii) arguing that a tighter synthesis of the two approaches is needed for a good understanding of how diversity, ecosystem process and trait distributions in landscapes are related, and (iii) laying out how this gap can be efficiently bridged under the framework of meta-ecosystems. Results/conclusions We identify two possible sets of processes that drive spatial food webs and the ecosystems they occur in: trait-dependent processes and material-dependent processes. Both of these have been shown to be important in affecting various aspects of food web ecology and we ask how they may compare to each other and how they may interact. We argue that interactions between them...