Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 289–302 | Cite as

A Fundamental Principle Governing Populations

  • Marvin Chester
Regular Article


Proposed here is that an overriding principle of nature governs all population behavior; that a single tenet drives the many regimes observed in nature—exponential-like growth, saturated growth, population decline, population extinction, and oscillatory behavior. The signature of such an all embracing principle is a differential equation which, in a single statement, embraces the entire panoply of observations. In current orthodox theory, this diverse range of population behaviors is described by many different equations—each with its own specific justification. Here, a single equation governing all the regimes is proposed together with the principle from which it derives. The principle is: The effect on the environment of a population’s success is to alter that environment in a way that opposes the success. Experiments are suggested which could validate or refute the theory. Predictions are made about population behaviors.


Population dynamics Evolution Ecology Biology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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