This project explores whether and how the predictions for species loss are altered by the inclusion of the trophic niche, compared to other network-based approaches.
Trophic niche and community structure
The "trophic niche" of a species is given by whom it eats and whom it is eaten by. Species with identical trophic niches tend to drive each other extinct (unless they can differ in some other aspect of their population regulation, one which is not encoded in feeding interactions; for instance, using different refuges). Importantly, when species are lost in an ecological community, due e.g. to overexploitation or range shifts, the species which used to either feed on or be eaten by them experience a reduction in their trophic niche. In turn, their likelihood of going extinct increases in case this makes them more similar in their trophic niche to some other, still extant species.