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Data from: A food web including parasites for kelp forests of the Santa Barbara Channel, California

Cite this dataset

Morton, Dana et al. (2021). Data from: A food web including parasites for kelp forests of the Santa Barbara Channel, California [Dataset]. Dryad.


We built a high-resolution topological food web for the kelp forests of the Santa Barbara Channel, California, USA that includes parasites and significantly improves resolution compared to previous webs. The 1,098 nodes and 21,956 links in the web describe an economically, socially, and ecologically vital system. Nodes are broken into life-stages. There are 549 free-living life-stages (comprising 492 species from 21 Phyla) and 549 parasitic life-stages (comprising 450 species from 10 Phyla). Links represent three kinds of trophic interactions. There are 9,352 predator-prey links, 2,733 parasite-host links and 9,871 predator-parasite links. This food web is unique in that all decisions for including nodes and links are documented, and extensive metadata in the node list allows users to filter the node list to suit their research questions. The kelp-forest food web is more species rich than any other published food web with parasites, and has a larger proportion of parasitic species than other webs. Because we have organized the food web topologically, its use may be somewhat limited in the opportunity to detect adaptation, realized as changes in link weights. Our food web may be used to predict how kelp forests may respond to change, will advance our understanding of parasites in ecosystems, and fosters development of food-web theory that incorporates large networks.


Please see data descriptor published in Scientific Data. 


Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Program, Award: Grant NNX14AR62A

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Environmental Studies Program, Award: MC15AC00006

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Award: Santa Barbara Channel Marine Biodiversity Observation Network

Lerner Gray Fund for Marine Research

Lewis and Clark Fund for Field Exploration and Research