An Economic Approach to the Evolution of an Ecology

  • Doug McLeod
Part of the Emergence, Complexity and Computation book series (ECC, volume 14)


We construct a simple economic model for a biological system using Markov chains with variable coefficients, in order to investigate how a biological system organizes itself and whether any measure of progress can be defined. We show that if exchange of resources between creatures is based on relative scarcity, we get a similar outcome to a market economy even though such exchanges are not reciprocal. The biological economy promotes the development of specialization and interdependence - an ecology. Within the framework of this simple model, the number of creatures increases over time which may be construed as a large scale trend.


complexity economic biology Lesley matrix evolutionary biology large scale trend 


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  1. 1.
    McShea, D.W.: Possible largest-scale trends in organismal evolution: eight live hypotheses. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29, 293–318 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doug McLeod
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

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