Systems Ecology Resources 2018-04-22T21:01:22+00:00

Systems Ecology Research (12)

  • Far-From-Equilibrium Physics: An Overview

    Far-From-Equilibrium Physics: An Overview
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    Isolated systems tend to evolve towards equilibrium, a special state that has been the focus of many-body research for a century. Yet much of the richness of the world around us arises from conditions far from equilibrium. Phenomena such as turbulence, earthquakes, fracture, and life itself occur only far from equilibrium.

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  • Social complexity and sustainability

    Social complexity and sustainability

    Social complexity and sustainability emerge from successful problem solving, rather than directly from environmental conditions. Social complexity develops from problem solvingat all scales from local to national and international. Complexity in problem solving is an economic function, and can both support and hinder sustainability. Sustainability outcomes may take decades or centuries to develop.

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  • Ecological Networks & Their Fragility

    Ecological Networks & Their Fragility

    Darwin used the metaphor of a ‘tangled bank’ to describe the complex interactions between species. Those interactions are varied: they can be antagonistic ones involving predation, herbivoryand parasitism, or mutualistic ones, such as those involving the pollination of flowers by insects.

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  • Understanding the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems

    Understanding the Complexity of Economic, Ecological, and Social Systems

    Hierarchies and adaptive cycles comprise the basis of ecosystems and social-ecological systems across scales. Together they form a panarchy. The panarchy describes how a healthy system can invent and experiment, benefiting from inventions that create opportunity while being kept safe from those that destabilize because of their nature or excessive exuberance.

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  • Complexity, Modeling, and Natural Resource Management

    Complexity, Modeling, and Natural Resource Management

    This paper contends that natural resource management (NRM) issues are, by their very nature, complex and that both scientists and managers in this broad field will benefit from a theoretical understanding of complex systems.

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  • Regime Shifts Resilience & Biodiversity

    Regime Shifts Resilience & Biodiversity

    We review the evidence of regime shifts in terrestrial and aquatic environments in relation to resilience of complex adaptive ecosystems and the functional roles of biological diversity in this context. The evidence reveals that the likelihood of regime shifts may increase when humans reduce resilience by such actions as removing response diversity, removing whole functional…

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  • Continuity and Change in Social-ecological Systems: the Role of Institutional Resilience

    Continuity and Change in Social-ecological Systems: the Role of Institutional Resilience

    In recent years recurring political, economic, and environmental crises require questioning and re-evaluating dominant pathways of human development. However, political and economic frameworks seem to encompass deeply rooted resistance to fundamental changes (e.g., global financial crisis, climate change negotiations). In an effort to repair the system as fast as possible, those paradigms, mechanisms, and structures that led into the crisis are perpetuated. Instead of preserving conventional patterns and focusing on continuity, crises could be used as an opportunity for learning, adapting, and entering onto more sustainable pathways.

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  • Resilience: Perspective for Social–Ecological Systems Analyses

    Resilience: Perspective for Social–Ecological Systems Analyses

    The resilience perspective is increasingly used as an approach for understanding the dynamics of social–ecological systems. This article presents the origin of the resilience perspective and provides an overview of its development to date. With roots in one branch of ecology and the discovery of multiple basins of attraction in ecosystems in the 1960–1970s, it inspired social and environmental scientists to challenge the dominant stable equilibrium view. The resilience approach emphasizes non-linear dynamics, thresholds, uncertainty and surprise, how periods of gradual change interplay with periods of rapid change and how such dynamics interact across temporal and spatial scales.

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  • Complex Systems Theory and Biodynamics

    Complex Systems Theory and Biodynamics

    Systems biology is a biology-based inter-disciplinary study field that focuses on the systematic study of complex interactions in biological systems, thus using a new perspective (holism instead of reduction) to study them. Particularly from year 2000 onwards, the term is used widely in the biosciences, and in a variety of contexts.

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  • Complex Systems & Valuation

    Complex Systems & Valuation

    Ecological and economic systems are undeniably complex. Whereas a goal of delineating ‘ecosystem services’ is to make readily apparent some of the important ways in which ecosystems underpin human welfare, insights are also gained by appreciating the nonlinear dynamic properties of ecosystems. In this paper, we review some of the relevant characteristics of complex systems.

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  • Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems

    Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems

    Ecosystems are prototypical examples of complex adaptive systems, in which patterns at higher levels emerge from localized interactions and selection processes acting at lower levels. An essential aspect of such systems is nonlinearity, leading to historical dependency and multiple possible outcomes of dynamics.

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  • Complexity in Ecological Systems

    Complexity in Ecological Systems

    Ecology has been eminently a descriptive science despite some pioneering work by theoreticians such as Lotka, Volterra, Nicholson, and others. Description is a first step toward understanding a system. However, such a first step needs to be accompanied by the development of a theoretical framework in order to achieve real insight and, whenever possible, predictive power.

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Systems Ecology course (2)

  • MIT Open Courseware: Modeling Environmental Complexity

    MIT Open Courseware: Modeling Environmental Complexity
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    Course Description: This course provides an introduction to the study of environmental phenomena that exhibit both organized structure and wide variability — i.e., complexity. Through focused study of a variety of physical, biological, and chemical problems in conjunction with theoretical models, we learn a series of lessons with wide applicability to understanding the structure and organization of the natural world. Students will also learn how to construct minimal mathematical, physical, and computational models that provide informative answers to precise questions.

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  • Dynamics of Complex Systems: Complexity in Ecology

    Dynamics of Complex Systems: Complexity in Ecology

    Course Description: In this class we will critically review both classical works and recent literature on complexity in ecology. The emphasis will be on developing quantitative theories in the context of experimental and observational data. We will meet twice weekly for roundtable discussions.

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Systems Ecology Books (3)

  • Toward a Unified Ecology (Complexity in Ecological Systems)

    Toward a Unified Ecology (Complexity in Ecological Systems)

    The first edition of Toward a Unified Ecology was ahead of its time. For the second edition, the authors present a new synthesis of their core ideas on evaluating communities, organisms, populations, biomes, models, and management. The book now places greater emphasis on post-normal critiques, cognizant of ever-present observer values in the system. The problem it addresses is how to work holistically on complex things that cannot be defined, and this book continues to build an approach to the problem of scaling in ecosystems.

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  • Introduction to Systems Ecology

    Introduction to Systems Ecology

    Possibly the first textbook to present a practically applicable ecosystems theory, Introduction to Systems Ecology helps readers understand how ecosystems work and how they react to disturbances. It demonstrates—with many examples and illustrations—how to apply the theory to explain observations and to make quantitative calculations and predictions. In this book, Sven Erik Jørgensen takes a first step toward integrating thermodynamics, biochemistry, hierarchical organization, and network theory into a holistic theory of systems ecology.

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  • Ecological and General Systems

    Ecological and General Systems

    Using an energy systems language that combines energetics, kinetics, information, cybernetics, and simulation, Ecological and General Systems compares models of many fields of science, helping to derive general systems principles. First published as Systems Ecology in 1983, Ecological and General Systems proposes principles of self-organization and the designs that prevail by maximizing power and efficiency. Comparisons to fifty other systems languages are provided.

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Systems Ecology Videos (9)

  • Eugene Odum explains the key concepts of "ecosystem ecology"

    Eugene Odum explains the key concepts of

    The late Eugene Odum gives an accessible introduction to systems ecology. Recorded in 2000 at the Institute of Ecology, Georgia University. Eugene Odum pioneered the "new ecology" from a systems perspective, and wrote the world's first text book on ecology in 1953 (Fundamentals of Ecology) currently in its 5th edition (2004).

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  • Feedbacks in social-ecological systems

    Feedbacks in social-ecological systems

    Whiteboard seminar with Brian Walker on feedbacks in ecosystems

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  • How do social, cultural, economic, and other human systems interact with ecosystems?

    How do social, cultural, economic, and other human systems interact with ecosystems?

    Jennifer Dunne, Professor, Santa Fe Institute explains her research on ecosystems networks

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  • The Hidden Order of Complex Ecosystems

    The Hidden Order of Complex Ecosystems

    Stanislaw Ulam Memorial Lecture Series about Complex Ecosystems

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  • Modelling the Whole Earth System: A Challenge Whose Time Has Come

    Modelling the Whole Earth System: A Challenge Whose Time Has Come

    Bob Bishop is the founder and president of the ICES Foundation (International Centre for Earth Simulation), bringing together science, sociology and economics to develop next generation 'holistic' visualizations depicting the future of our planet. The aim of the project is to enhance detection technology, decision support and scientific underpinnings to current and future policymakers, aiming to tackle climate change, extreme weather, geo-engineering, resource depletion, hazard reduction and mitigation

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  • Emergent Issues in Ecology

    Emergent Issues in Ecology

    Theoretical ecologist Simon Levin addresses the the issue of sustainability.

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  • Critical transitions in nature and society

    Critical transitions in nature and society

    A Grantham Special Lecture by Professor Marten Scheffer, Center for Water and Climate Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

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  • Constructal Law Explained

    Constructal Law Explained

    Adrian Bejan, professor of materials science and mechanical engineering at Duke University, explains how constructal law underpins the natural organization and flow of everything in nature from rivers to evolution, providing a single unifying law that can describe many processes and systems.

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  • A social-ecological system in crisis: Power, politics and marginalization in Chilika Lagoon

    A social-ecological system in crisis: Power, politics and marginalization in Chilika Lagoon

    Prateep Nayak from the University of Waterloo, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, speaking at the UW 2014 World Wetlands Day Symposium.

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