robustness: Robustness to species extinctions

Description Usage Arguments Details Value Note Author(s) References See Also Examples

View source: R/robustness.r


Calculates the area below the extinction curve generated by second.extinct.





An object of type class bipartite, usually generated by second.extinct.


This function calculates the area below the extinction curve generated by second.extinct as a measure of the robustness of the system to the loss of species.

The curve, first proposed by Memmott et al. (2004), is based on the fact that if a given fraction of species of one guild (for instance, the pollinators) are eliminated, a number of species of the other guild (e.g. plants) which depend on their interactions become extinct. The slope and general shape of the curve provided a straightforward graphic description of the tolerance of a system to the extinction of its component species.

An improvement of Memmott et al.'s curve was developed by Burgos et al. (2007) by introducing a quantitative measure of robustness with a single parameter R, defined as the area under the extinction curve. It is intuitive that R = 1 corresponds to a curve that decreases very mildly until the point at which almost all animal species are eliminated. This is consistent with a very robust system in which, for instance, most of the plant species survive even if a large fraction of the animal species is eliminated. Conversely R = 0 corresponds to an ATC that decreases abruptly as soon as any species is lost. This is consistent with a fragile system in which, for instance, even if a very small fraction of the animal species is eliminated, most of the plants loose all their interactions and go extinct.


Returns the robustness of the web to the removal of species.


This index complements the information given by slope.bipartite, although it has the advantage of not being constrained by the shape of the particular curve (concave or convex).


Mariano Devoto [email protected]


Burgos, E., H. Ceva, R.P.J. Perazzo, M. Devoto, D. Medan, M. Zimmermann, and A. Maria Delbue (2007) Why nestedness in mutualistic networks? Journal of Theoretical Biology 249, 307–313

Memmott, J., Waser, N. M. and Price, M. V. 2004 Tolerance of pollination networks to species extinctions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 271, 2605–2611

See Also

second.extinct for generating the required input object and slope.bipartite for an alternative, but inferior measure


## Not run: 
ex <- second.extinct(Safariland, participant="lower", method="random", nrep=100, 

## End(Not run)

Example output

Loading required package: vegan
Loading required package: permute
Loading required package: lattice
This is vegan 2.4-4
Loading required package: sna
Loading required package: statnet.common

Attaching package: 'statnet.common'

The following object is masked from 'package:base':


Loading required package: network
network: Classes for Relational Data
Version 1.13.0 created on 2015-08-31.
copyright (c) 2005, Carter T. Butts, University of California-Irvine
                    Mark S. Handcock, University of California -- Los Angeles
                    David R. Hunter, Penn State University
                    Martina Morris, University of Washington
                    Skye Bender-deMoll, University of Washington
 For citation information, type citation("network").
 Type help("network-package") to get started.

sna: Tools for Social Network Analysis
Version 2.4 created on 2016-07-23.
copyright (c) 2005, Carter T. Butts, University of California-Irvine
 For citation information, type citation("sna").
 Type help(package="sna") to get started.

 This is bipartite 2.08
 For latest changes see versionlog in  ?"bipartite-package".
 For citation see: citation("bipartite").
 Have a nice time plotting and analysing two-mode networks.

Attaching package: 'bipartite'

The following object is masked from 'package:vegan':


[1] 0.5753148

bipartite documentation built on July 13, 2018, 1:04 a.m.