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On Birth, Death and Symmetry: Some Principles of Complex Ecological Systems

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Part of the Emergence, Complexity and Computation book series (ECC,volume 42)

Abstract

For quite apparent reasons, much of the phenomenology of what we call life can be described by a birth and death process. Less apparent, however, is how symmetry comes into play. In this chapter we briefly summarize some of the finding that come about by putting together birth and death processes in the context of a symmetric system, or one where its components have identical per capita rates of birth and death, being in practical term identical. We will illustrate this process of birth and death in symmetric systems using a one dimensional diffusion model to account for the proportional abundance ecological entities. We show that the first principles of birth death and symmetry are fundamental to our understanding of ecological dynamics and the emergence of patterns in ecological systems. They represent first principles, that can be useful to generating theory, and their integration, in ecology.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-92551-2_8
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Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges support from project FONDECYT 1200925. I would like to thanks my dear friend Rolando Rebolledo for introducing me to open system approaches, and teaching me the little math I can master about them. Evandro Ferrada, Mauricio Tejo and Cristobal Quiñinao have accompany me in this stochastic trip and I thank them for their patience, companionship and passion for understanding complex biological systems. Finally, my deepest appreciation to Eric Goles, a dear friend and partner in several scientific initiatives, whom I dedicate this essay in his 70th birthday. I tried to blend a bit of literature into my discussion as a token of appreciation to Eric, whose life has moved between science, arts, and the humanities.

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Correspondence to Pablo A. Marquet .

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Marquet, P.A. (2022). On Birth, Death and Symmetry: Some Principles of Complex Ecological Systems. In: Adamatzky, A. (eds) Automata and Complexity. Emergence, Complexity and Computation, vol 42. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92551-2_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-92551-2_8

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