By Nancy B. Grimm (auth.), Clive G. Jones, John H. Lawton (eds.)
I was once requested to introduce this quantity by means of studying "why a data of ecosys tem functioning can give a contribution to realizing species actions, dynamics, and assemblages." i've got discovered it strangely tough to deal with this subject. at the one hand, the answer's extremely simple and normal: simply because all species reside in ecosystems, they're a part of and depending on environment methods. it's very unlikely to appreciate the abundance and distribution of populations and the species range and composition of groups with no wisdom in their abiotic and biotic environments and of the fluxes of power and mat ter throughout the ecosystems of which they seem to be a half. yet we all know this. it's what ecology is all approximately (e.g., Likens, 1992). it really is why the self-discipline has retained its integrity and thrived, regardless of a occasionally distressing measure of bickering and chauvinism between its a variety of subdisciplines: physiological, be havioral, inhabitants, neighborhood, and atmosphere ecology.
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Extra info for Linking Species & Ecosystems
Worms in densities of hundreds per square meter changed completely the fabric of the soil and introduced large amounts of particulate organic matter by drawing down leaf litter beneath the surface. Marine deposit feeders also consume large amounts of sediment and draw down organic matter beneath the surface, but their activities occur in a sediment whose interstices are filled with water and whose interface is with water, rather than air. It is the purpose of this brief chapter to introduce the reader unfamiliar with deposit feeders to their strong effects on the soft bottom marine ecosystem, both from the point of view of strong biological interactions and habitat fabric interactions.
Ch. 7) provide evidence (from food-web manipulation experiments in entire lakes) for ecosystem-level effects on population dynamics. The variability of zooplankton populations was significantly higher in manipulated lakes. They point out that not only do ecosystem-level changes affect population dynamics, but also that shifts in population dynamics may have strong impacts on ecosystem processes, for example, primary production. Huntly (Ch. 8) moves us from water to land, focusing on major effects of herbivores on ecosystem processes in space and time.
These include physical systems such as spin glasses, Bernard cells, and thunderstorms; biological systems such as human brains, developmental programs, individual organisms, and ecological communities; and human systems such as machines, adaptive computer programs, economies, and languages. Increasingly, these are being referred to as complex adaptive systems (Cowan and Pines, 1994) (I use CAS as shorthand for one such system, and CASs for more than one). CASs share several properties: (1) they are comprised of many components of different kinds; (2) they have the capacity for self-organization, using relatively simple rules and materials to produce complex structures and dynamics; (3) they are open systems that exchange energy and materials with their surroundings; (4) they maintain a state far from thermodynamic equilihrium by the uptake and transformation of energy; (5) they have a capacity for adaptive change, changing their components and altering their performance as a consequence of interactions with their environment; and (6) they develop a unique structure and dynamics that reflect a history of cumulative changes.