Recovery in complex ecosystems
- Cite this article as:
- O‘Neill, R.V. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery (1998) 6: 181. doi:10.1023/A:1009996332614
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Current ecosystem theory has a deceptively simple representation of recovery. In actual practice,recovery is affected by the frequency and extent of disturbances and by the spatial heterogeneity of the ecological system. Environmental changes may pass through thresholds causing recovery to a different plant and animal community. The sheer complexity of the system combined with unanticipated synergistic effects can make recovery trajectories difficult or impossible to predict. New theoretical constructs,based on stochastic nonlinear theory, will be needed to guide research and applications.