How food webs are structured and how their structure and dynamics vary through time and space is a central focus of research in community ecology. We documented structural variation in the aquatic food web inhabiting pitcher-shaped leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea across the geographic range of the plant (from Florida north to Labrador and west to British Columbia); examined temporal variation in this food web with detailed experiments in Massachusetts and Vermont; experimentally manipulated top-down and bottom-up processes in this food web in Massachusetts; and developed a dynamic simulation model of this food web that incorporates metacommunity dynamics.
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