systems ecology


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Systems ecology

The analysis of how ecosystem function is determined by the components of an ecosystem and how those components cycle, retain, or exchange energy and nutrients. Systems ecology typically involves the application of computer models that track the flow of energy and materials and predict the responses of systems to perturbations that range from fires to climate change to species extinctions. Systems ecology is closely related to mathematical ecology, with the major difference stemming from systems ecology's focus on energy and nutrient flow and its borrowing of ideas from engineering. Systems ecology is one of the few theoretical tools that can simultaneously examine a system from the level of individuals all the way up to the level of ecosystem dynamics. It is an especially valuable approach for investigating systems so large and complicated that experiments are impossible, and even observations of the entire system are impractical. In these overwhelming settings, the only approach is to break down the research into measurements of components and then assemble a system model that pieces together all components. An important contribution of ecosystem science is the recognition that there are critical ecosystem services such as cleansing of water, recycling of waste materials, production of food and fiber, and mitigation of pestilence and plagues. See Ecological communities, Ecological energetics, Ecology, Ecosystem, Global climate change, Theoretical ecology

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

systems ecology

[′sis·təmz i′käl·ə·jē]
(ecology)
The combined approaches of systems analysis and the ecology of whole ecosystems and subsystems.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Contributors present perspectives from a range of disciplines: architecture, systems ecology, urban planning, biology, environmental planning, landscape architecture, and economics.
El Paso, TX, April 17, 2015 --(PR.com)-- Florencia Mazza Ramsay and The Systems Ecology Lab at The University of Texas at El Paso launches Kickstarter campaign promoting photographic journey documenting the research activities of 2015 field season in Barrow, AK.
But the interest in systems ecology lay not only on theoretical grounds: scientists who endorsed this approach in earth sciences often took an active role in the defence of the environment, despite Stalin's opposition to such sensible policies.
Final chapters recommend guiding principles for using systems ecology in ecological subdisciplines and environmental management, illustrated with case examples.
A fuller understanding of these dynamic networks, which has much to do with systems ecology, is a prerequisite for programming coherent and durable new processes and spatial configurations (p.
Tom Chesnes (Ph.D., University of Florida, Systems Ecology) specializes in estuarine and field biology.
Exemplars of success in this arena is Forrester's success in training teachers in many school districts to help their students construct sophisticated Systems Dynamics models, Lee Hood's attempt to bring systems biology to K-12 classrooms, and Odum's computerized tools for systems ecology and economic models using energy (Odum, 1983; Odum, 1994; Odum et al., 1998; Odum and Odum, 2000).
Organised by the Moulay Ismail University, the symposium will focus on the following four themes: water quality, aquatic systems ecology, the management and preservation of water resources and sustainable development.
He attempts to contextualize these cases within loose frameworks of attitudes toward nature, systems ecology, and an amorphous area (decision making and coevolution) that seems to be the black box for the social sciences.
Odum, Systems Ecology: An Introduction (New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1983).

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