Hosts: Katalin Patonai, PhD Candidate, Eötvös Loránd University, Department of Plant Systematics, Ecology and Theoretical Biology, Budapest, Hungary, and Dr. Gregorio Alejandro López Moreira Mazacotte, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany.
Ecological network models such as those representing food webs describe the world as a web of connections. The world of humans and the biodiversity of our planet are tightly linked, full of intertwined direct and indirect effects. It is time to broaden the traditional scope of network science. To better understand the functioning and resilience of marine ecosystems, the consideration of human presence and actions is critical, incorporating social-ecological dynamics in addition to synthesizing trophic connections. It is especially important to approach these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, which is still a main challenge. Our aim is to start the session with a Keynote Speaker elaborating on food web ecology with a particular emphasis on keystone species. Afterwards, we will have a series of lectures focusing on novel approaches and case studies in marine food web research, followed by a short, guided discussion. Our session calls for abstracts which apply food webs as ecosystem models with opportunities of incorporating anthropogenic aspects. We would like to hear about unique case studies, new methodologies, statistical and modelling frameworks pertaining to food web analysis. Contributions to this session may use quantitative methods (e.g., food webs, ecosystem modelling, trophic energetics, ecological network analysis) or qualitative methods (e.g., functional traits) for the understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, and the assessment of potential impacts of human activities like fishing. Food webs have an incredible potential to describe a healthy and resilient ocean and can be used to advise further research.