Toward a cohesive understanding of ecological complexity

Riva, F., Graco-Roza, C., Daskalova, G. ORCID:, Hudgins, E.J., Lewthwaite, J.M.M., Newman, E.A., Ryo, M., & Mammola, S. (2023). Toward a cohesive understanding of ecological complexity. Science Advances 9 (25) eabq4207. 10.1126/sciadv.abq4207.

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Ecological systems are quintessentially complex systems. Understanding and being able to predict phenomena typical of complex systems is, therefore, critical to progress in ecology and conservation amidst escalating global environmental change. However, myriad definitions of complexity and excessive reliance on conventional scientific approaches hamper conceptual advances and synthesis. Ecological complexity may be better understood by following the solid theoretical basis of complex system science (CSS). We review features of ecological systems described within CSS and conduct bibliometric and text mining analyses to characterize articles that refer to ecological complexity. Our analyses demonstrate that the study of complexity in ecology is a highly heterogeneous, global endeavor that is only weakly related to CSS. Current research trends are typically organized around basic theory, scaling, and macroecology. We leverage our review and the generalities identified in our analyses to suggest a more coherent and cohesive way forward in the study of complexity in ecology.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2023 12:04
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2023 12:04

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