Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems

@article{Levin1998EcosystemsAT,
  title={Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems},
  author={Simon A. Levin},
  journal={Ecosystems},
  year={1998},
  volume={1},
  pages={431-436}
}
  • S. Levin
  • Published 1998
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecosystems
ABSTRACT 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. Given this, it is essential to determine the degree to which system features are determined by environmental conditions, and the degree to which they are the result of self… 
Marine Ecosystems as Complex Adaptive Systems: Emergent Patterns, Critical Transitions, and Public Goods
TLDR
This work discusses how the development and usage of new techniques for coupling ecological and evolutionary dynamics, for integrating dynamics across multiple scales of organization, and for using data to infer the complex interactions among different components of ecological systems have led to an improved understanding of three universal features of complex adaptive systems.
Ecosystem Memory Is Emergent from Local-Level Natural Selection
Because the form of an ecosystem is shaped chiefly through the selection and amplification of chance genetic and environmental events at lower levels of organisation (sensu Maynard Smith and
The complex adaptive character of spring fens as model ecosystems
TLDR
It is argued that the exceptional environmental character of spring fens qualifies these ecosystems as ideal model systems to test and further develop CAS theory for ecology and biogeography.
Ecosystem spatial self-organization: Free order for nothing?
Complex Adaptive Systems: Use and Analysis of Complex Adaptive Systems in Ecosystem Science: Overview of Special Section
TLDR
In this work, the question of how different levels of organization can be integrated, or how mechanisms and patterns at one level of organizations can be understood in terms of processes operating at adifferent level of organization is addressed.
Ecological Systems as Complex Systems: Challenges for an Emerging Science
TLDR
This work highlights features of ecological complexity—such as diversity, cross-scale interactions, memory and environmental variability—that continue to challenge classical complex systems science.
Dynamics in a Two-Species Kolmogorov System
92 Abstract— An ecosystem is a complex system, with its diverse components continually interacting and thus giving rise to emergent properties that determine the trajectory of time evolution of the
Structural and Dynamical Heterogeneity in Ecological Networks
Diversity is a key feature of biological systems. In complex ecological systems, which are composed of several components and multiple parallel interactions among them, it is increasingly needed to
Variability, Feedback, and Cooperative Process Dynamics: Elements of a Unifying Hydrologic Theory
The goal of this article is to develop a framework that enables us to better understand the rich set of interactions that occur between physical and biological systems embedded in the water cycle. We
Biodiversity in metacommunities: Plankton as complex adaptive systems?
TLDR
It is hypothesize that connectivity through dispersal of local communities that are embedded in aquatic metacommunities show a range of dynamic behaviors related to their capacity to respond adaptively to environmental change.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 52 REFERENCES
Evolution as a self-organized critical phenomenon.
TLDR
A simple mathematical model of biological macroevolution describes an ecology of adapting, interacting species that evolves to a "self-organized critical" state where periods of stasis alternate with avalanches of causally connected evolutionary changes.
Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems
TLDR
The traditional view of natural systems, therefore, might well be less a meaningful reality than a perceptual convenience.
Cross-Scale Morphology, Geometry, and Dynamics of Ecosystems
Community ecology and ecosystem ecology seem to have existed in different worlds. Levin (1989) suggests that the gulf between the two is the consequence of the different historical traditions in
A Hierarchical Concept of Ecosystems.
"Ecosystem" is an intuitively appealing concept to most ecologists, but, in spite of its widespread use, the term remains diffuse and ambiguous. The authors of this book argue that previous attempts
BUTTERFLIES AND PLANTS: A STUDY IN COEVOLUTION
TLDR
The relationship between butterflies and their food plants is investigated, the examination of patterns of interaction between two major groups of organisms with a close and evident ecological relationship, such as plants and herbivores.
Resilience in natural and socioeconomic systems
TLDR
It is difficult to detect strong signals of change early enough to motivate effective solutions, or to develop scientific consensus on a time scale rapid enough to allow effective solution, and such signals are likely to be displaced in space or sector from the source so that the motivation for action is small.
Gaia as seen through the atmosphere
Food Web Complexity and Species Diversity
  • R. Paine
  • Environmental Science
    The American Naturalist
  • 1966
It is suggested that local animal species diversity is related to the number of predators in the system and their efficiency in preventing single species from monopolizing some important, limiting,
Nature's services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems.
TLDR
Nature's Services brings together world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines to examine the character and value of ecosystem services, the damage that has been done to them, and the consequent implications for human society.
Biological modulation of the Earth's atmosphere
...
...