Toward a more holistic ecology, and science: the contribution of H.T. Odum

  title={Toward a more holistic ecology, and science: the contribution of H.T. Odum},
  author={Bernard C. Patten},
ConclusionFor the abovementioned reasons, and with all due respect to the scholarship of Mansson and McGlade, who display a deep knowledge of thermodynamics and ecology, I cannot agree that Odum's use of energy concepts is “wholly discredited”. Refinements from microscopic thermodynamics may not have been faithfully carried along in his work, but does ecology really need these? Remember — the “meal test”.Having tussled with ecological complexity myself, I stand in awe of this man who has faced… 

Mansson and McGlade vs. H.T. Odum: a further clarification

At the conclusion of their critique of H.T. Odum's conjectures about thermodynamics and ecology, Mansson and McGlade (1993, p. 594) stated that "Al though the prospects look dismal, we should in

Unravelling the holistic nature of ecosystems: biology teachers’ conceptions of ecosystem borders

ABSTRACT Science and environmental educators implicitly presuppose that the ecosystem per se is clearly defined and consider learners’ misunderstandings to be incorrect scientific interpretations of

Emergy as a Tool for an Integrated Knowledge

Starting with Environment Power and Society in 1971, to the Prosperous Way Down proposal thirty years later, most of Howard T. Odum’s fundamental titles address explicitly the potential of emergy as

Promise and problems of emergy analysis

The maximum power principle predicts the outcomes of two-species competition experiments

I empirically tested the maximum power principle by reanalyzing three two-species competition experiments and suggests that the MPP may represent a useful energetic organizing principle for communities.

Maximum resiliency as a determinant of food web behavior

The result is not a mere diversion of the energy flux through the system of organic nature along a new path, but an increase of the total flux through that system.

Does life consistently maximise energy intensity?

  • A. MilewskiA. Mills
  • Environmental Science
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2010
Theory of biological E intensity explains variation in life form in terms of adaptations as opposed to accidents of biological history, and suggests that an important and overlooked way to achieve power is to reuse energy, and that all organisms maximise E intensity by converting chemical potential energy into circuits of electromagnetic energy.

Ecological Economic Evaluation Based on Emergy as Embodied Cosmic Exergy: A Historical Study for the Beijing Urban Ecosystem 1978-2004

An updated emergy synthesis in terms of embodied cosmic exergy instead of embodied solar energy is illustrated, which successes the foundation of systems ecological theory but changes the starting point for the estimation from simply the sun to the cosmos.

Partitioning of microbial biomass in pelagic aquatic communities: maximum resiliency as a food web organizing construct

Application of the principle of maximum resiliency to a pelagic food web model leads to the conclusion that the ratio of heterotrophic bacterial biomass to phytoplankton biomass is greatest under



Ecology, thermodynamics and H.T. Odum's conjectures

It is concluded that the various forms and uses of energy bound up in essential ecosystem processes present a formidable obstacle to obtaining an operational definition of a general, aggregated available-work concept, a prerequisite for the systems approach of Odum and others.

A Critique for Ecology

This is a list of problems in ecology and a summary of the main themes: cause and mechanism, weak predictions, historical explanation and understanding, and Predictive ecology.

Linearity enigmas in ecology

Flows in Networks.

The techniques presented by Ford and Fulkerson spurred the development of powerful computational tools for solving and analyzing network flow models, and also furthered the understanding of linear programming.

Environs , emergy , transformity and energy value

  • 1993

Environs, emergy, transformity and energy value. In: Hall CAS (ed) Maximum power: application of the ideas of Howard Odum to ecology, economics and engineering

  • 1993