Chapter 12. Complexity and Stability of Adaptive Ecological Networks: A Survey of the Theory in Community Ecology

Landi P, Minoarivelo HO, Brännström Å, Hui C, & Dieckmann U (2018). Chapter 12. Complexity and Stability of Adaptive Ecological Networks: A Survey of the Theory in Community Ecology. In: Systems Analysis Approach for Complex Global Challenges. Eds. Mensah, P., Katerere, D., Hachigonta, S. & Roodt, A., pp. 209-248 Heidelberg: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-71485-1 DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-71486-8_12.

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Abstract

Background and Significance of the topic: The planet is changing at paces never observed before. Species extinction is happening at faster rates than ever, greatly exceeding the five mass extinctions in the fossil record. Nevertheless, human life is strongly based on services provided by ecosystems, thus the responses to global change of the planet’s natural heritage are of immediate concern. Understanding the relationship between complexity and stability of ecosystems is of key importance for the maintenance of the balance of human growth and the conservation of all the natural services that ecosystems provide. Methodology: The concept of ecological networks and their characteristics are first introduced, followed by central and occasionally contrasting definitions of complexity and stability. The literature on the relationship between complexity and stability in different types of models and few real ecosystems is then reviewed, highlighting the theoretical debate and the lack of consensual agreement. Application/Relevance to systems analysis: This chapter uses ecological-network models to study the relationship between complexity and stability of natural ecosystems. Policy and/or practice implications: Mathematical network models can be used to simplify the vast complexity of the real world, to formally describe and investigate ecological phenomena, and to understand ecosystems propensity of returning to its functioning regime after a stress or a perturbation. Discussion and conclusion: The chapter concludes by summarising the importance of this line of research for the successful management and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2018 13:23
Last Modified: 28 May 2018 14:44
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/15212

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