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More than 100 food web matrices (multiple predators/prey Excel worksheets) are included with the javaFOODWEB tool. The predator-prey matrices are converted to symmetrical predator matrices in order to investigate the competition for resources. After manipulating these transformed matrices, the patterns within the community ecology of niche-spaces and trophic hierarchies are visualized.


John R. Jungck, Beloit College
Vince Streif, Beloit College - BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

Published by: BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

OS: win98:win2000:winXP:os9:osx:linux

User Manuals and Curricular Materials
Popular Text Citations

Miller JA. (1979) Food Web: Mathematical analysis unravels a simple pattern from the complexities of predator-prey interactions. Science News 115: 250-251.

Stiling P. (1999) Chapter 20: “Trophic Structure,” pages 518-539. Ecology Theories and Applications (3rd ed.), Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Cohen JE. (1978) Food Webs and Niche Space. Princeton University Press: Princeton, New Jersey.

Pimm SL. (1982) Food Webs. Chapman and Hall: London.

Roberts FS. (1978) Graph Theory and Its Applications to Problems of Society. SIAM: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sugihara G. (1984). “Graph theory, Homology and Food Webs.” Pages 83–101 in S. A. Levin, ed. Population biology. Proceedings of Symposia in Applied Mathematics. Vol. 30. American Mathematical Society, Providence, R.I.

Research Articles

Pimm SL, Lawton JH, and Cohen JE. (1991) Food web patterns and their consequences. Nature 350: 669-674.

Warren PH. (1994) Making connections in food webs. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9 (4): 136-141.

Cohen JE, Jonsson T, and Carpenter SR. (2003) Ecological community description using the food web, species abundance, and body size. PNAS 100(4):1781-6.

Williams RJ and Martinez ND. (2000) Simple rules yield complex food webs. Nature 404: 180-183.

Williams RJ and Martinez ND. (2004) Limits to trophic levels and omnivory in complex food webs: theory and data. Am Nat. 163(3):458-68.

Cohen JE. (1989) Ecology: just proportions in food webs. Nature 341(6238):104-5.

Dunne JA, Williams RJ, and Martinez ND. (2002) Food-web structure and network theory: The role of connectance and size. PNAS 99(20):12917-22.

Education Research & Pedagogical Materials

Griffiths AK, and Grant BAC. (1985) High school students’ understanding of food webs: Identification of a learning hierarchy and related misconceptions. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 22 (5): 421-436.

Data Sources

113 xls files from Cohen JE, Briand F and Newman CM. (1990) Community Food Webs: Data and Theory . Biomathematics Volume 20. Springer-Verlag: Berlin.

Tutorial & Background materials

Predator: The Food Chain Game. Dynamic Teaching Materials, Inc. 7525 Mission George Road, Suite E, San Diego, California 92120.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation's "Fond of Ponds".

The Gould League's "Food webs, Classification and Biodiversity Teachers' Kit"

Greenspan B. "Food Webs and Trophic Levels" Access Excellence, The National Health Museum.

Jungck John R., Streif Vince () javaFOODWEB. A module of the Biological ESTEEM Collection, published by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium. URL: