Apr 15, 2020

Socio-Ecological Network Structures from Process Graphs

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Angelyn LaoR. Tan


We propose a process graph (P-graph) approach to develop ecosystem networks from knowledge of the properties of the component species. Originally developed as a process engineering tool for designing industrial plants, the P-graph framework has key advantages over conventional ecological network analysis (ENA) techniques. A P-graph is a bipartite graph consisting of two types of nodes, which we propose to represent components of an ecosystem. Compartments within ecosystems (e.g., organism species) are represented by one class of nodes, while the roles or functions that they play relative to other compartments are represented by a second class of nodes. This bipartite graph representation enables a powerful, unambiguous representation of relationships among ecosystem compartments, which can come in tangible (e.g., mass flow in predation) or intangible form (e.g., symbiosis). For example, within a P-graph, the distinct roles of bees as pollinators for some plants and as prey for some animals can be explicitly represented, which would not otherwise be possible using conventional ENA. After a discussion of the mapping of ecosystems into P-graph, we also discuss how this framework can be used to guide understanding of complex networ...Continue Reading

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Objective (Goal)
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