This working group will conduct next-generation ecological network research through compilation, analysis and modeling of new gradient-based, multiweb databases. These databases consist of dozens to hundreds of highly resolved ecological networks, collected by the same researchers using a consistent protocol, and systematically sampled along particular spatial, temporal, environmental and experimental gradients. The working group will use these databases to conduct analyses and develop and test models focused on questions related to how trophic organization, interaction motifs, and species trophic roles change, or are robust, in response to the gradients represented in the data. For example, we will look at effects of spatial scaling, community assembly through time, natural climate variability over a large latitudinal gradient, experimental lab-based climate change, and increasingly intense habitat modification. In addition to advances in both fundamental ecological understanding and more applied understanding (e.g., in relation to climate change), we expect to generate insights relevant for network theory in general, as this is the first time that gradient-based analyses and modeling will be conducted in any area of network research. A gift from the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation is providing most of the funding for the working group, with additional financial and institutional support provided by the Santa Fe Institute.