The Cybernetic Nature of Ecosystems

  title={The Cybernetic Nature of Ecosystems},
  author={Bernard C. Patten and Eugene P. Odum},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={886 - 895}
Cybernetic systems are systems with feedback (Wiener 1948). They are a special class of cause-and-effect (input-output) systems in which input is determined, at least in part, by output. The portion of output that is returned to input is the feedback, and this may become the basis for feedback control. Very small feedbacks may exert very large effects. Figure la illustrates a basic input-output system. Energy, matter, or information coming from the environment causes the system to respond; this… Expand
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