Scale, Synthesis, and Ecosystem Dynamics
Systems analysis in ecology has tended to condense and aggregate complex systems, a tendency that has a tradition going back to the classic work of Lindeman (1942). This orientation has been reinforced by a hearty interest in systems analysis techniques that use a small number of differential equations to represent the compartments into which an ecosystem is divided (for examples see Patten 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976; Shugart and O’Neill 1979). The use of such models in the synthesis of element cycles is such that compartment models and “box and arrow” diagrams dominate most documentations of ecosystem element cycles. However, several of the preceding chapters cite the need to incorporate mechanisms and processes in ecological models to a greater degree to further our understanding of ecosystem dynamics.
KeywordsCanopy Tree Deviation Curve Scale Implication Element Cycle Biomass Dynamic
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