Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4521
Title: Modeling dendritic ecological networks in space: An integrated network perspective
Author: Erin E. Peterson, Jay M. Ver Hoef, D. J. Isaak, Jeff A. Falke, Marie-Josee Fortin, Chris E. Jordan, Kristina M. McNyset, Pascal Monestiez, Aaron S. Ruesch, Aritra Sengupta, E. Ashley Steel, David M. Theobald, C. E. Torgersen, Seth J. Wenger
Publication Year: 2013
Journal: Ecology Letters
Keywords: network,spatial model

Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) are a unique form of ecological networks that exhibit a dendritic
network topology (e.g. stream and cave networks or plant architecture). DENs have a dual spatial
representation; as points within the network and as points in geographical space. Consequently, some
analytical methods used to quantify relationships in other types of ecological networks, or in 2-D
space, may be inadequate for studying the influence of structure and connectivity on ecological processes
within DENs. We propose a conceptual taxonomy of network analysis methods that account
for DEN characteristics to varying degrees and provide a synthesis of the different approaches within
the context of stream ecology. Within this context, we summarise the key innovations of a new family
of spatial statistical models that describe spatial relationships in DENs. Finally, we discuss how different
network analyses may be combined to address more complex and novel research questions. While
our main focus is streams, the taxonomy of network analyses is also relevant anywhere spatial patterns
in both network and 2-D space can be used to explore the influence of multi-scale processes on biota
and their habitat (e.g. plant morphology and pest infestation, or preferential migration along stream or
road corridors).