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Connectance and degree distributions are important components of the structure of ecological networks. In this contribution, we use a statistical argument and simple network generating models to show that properties of the degree distribution are driven by network connectance. We discuss the consequences of this finding for (1) the generation of random networks in null-model analyses, and (2) the interpretation of network structure and ecosystem properties in relationship with degree distribution.
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The paper is currently under review in *PeerJ*, this is the first major revision - we clarified the impact on our results for the debate on ecological stability, and made other revisions throughout the text.