Community Measures of Marine Food Networks and their Possible Applications

  • Robert E. Ulanowicz
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


Ecology is the study of the relationships of organisms with one another and with their non-living environment. The keyword to notice in this definition is “relationships”. Rather than fixing attention upon the organism or population itself, we as ecologists should be primarily concerned with what transpires between populations. As we also pretend to being scientists, we aim to quantify our observations on these relationships, and this is most readily done when those interactions involve a palpable transfer of either material or energy. When we describe the species composition and densities of phytoplankton and Zooplankton in an open ocean gyre, we are behaving as good quantitative biologists. Not until we attempt to balance grazing rates with rates of respiration, nutrient uptake and sinking, are we acting as quantitative ecologists.


Flow Network Total Throughput Community Measure Causal Loop Ground Symbol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Ulanowicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Center for Environmental and Esturaine StudiesUniversity of MarylandSolomonsUSA

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