Completeness and Craft Standards in Ecological Theory

  • L. B. Slobodkin
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 39)


Clearly, good science permits us to “understand nature,” i.e. to explain or predict or both. Exactly what is meant by this is unclear and varies between intellectual traditions. Since the publication of the seminal works by Volterra, theoretical ecology has continued to involve an interplay between natural history, applied mathematics, and genetics. While the curious tensions between these three traditions may not have been critical during the early pioneering stages of ecological development, they now require examination.


Relative Fitness Species List Ecological Theory Adaptive Landscape Wild Cherry 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bateson, G. 196 3. The role of somatic change in evolution. Evolution 7: 529–539.Google Scholar
  2. Botkin, D., S. Golubic/ B. Maguire, B. Moore, H. Morowitz and L.B. Slobodkin. 19 79. Closed regenerative life support systems for space travel: their development poses fundamental questions for ecological science. (COSPAR) Life Sciences and Space Research 17: 3–12.Google Scholar
  3. Borges, J.L. 1975. A Universal History of Infamy. Penguin Books, London.Google Scholar
  4. Elton, C. 1966. The Pattern of Animal Communities. Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  5. Fisher, R.A. 1930. Tne Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Freckman, D., L.B. Slobodkin and C. Taylor. 1980b. Pesticide use and the stability of species-rich and species-poor communities of nematodes. Proc. Int. Soil Zoology Coll. VII (In Press).Google Scholar
  7. Hutchinson, G.E. 195 7. Concluding remarks. Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 22:415–427,Google Scholar
  8. Hutchinson, G.E# 1968. When are species necessary? Chapter 12 in Population Biology and Evolution. R.C. Lewontin, ed., Univ. of Syracuse Press, pp. 177–186.Google Scholar
  9. Innes, G.S., ed. 1975. New Directions in the Analysis of Ecological Systems. Simulation Council Proceedings, Vol. 5.Google Scholar
  10. King, M-C. and A.C. Wilson. 1975. Evolution at two levels in humans and chimpanzees. Science 188: 107–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lewontin, R.C. 1974. The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change. Columbia Univ. Press, N.Y.Google Scholar
  12. Lewontin, R.C. 1978. Fitness, survival and optimality, in Analysis of Ecological Systems. D. Horn, R. Mitchell, G.R. Stairs, Ed. Ohio State Univ. Press, Columbus.Google Scholar
  13. Maguire, B., L.B., Slobodkin, H.J. Morowitz, B. Moore, and D.H. Botkin. 19 80. A new paradigm for the examination of (closed) ecosystems. Symposium on Microcosms in Ecological Research. John Giesy (ed.). Technical Information Center, U.S. Dept. of Energy (In Press).Google Scholar
  14. Margalef, R. 1975. Perspectives in Ecological Theory. Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  15. May, R.M. (Ed.). 1976. Theoretical Ecology, Principles and Applications. Saunders.Google Scholar
  16. May, R.M., J.R. Beddington, C.W. Clark, S.J. Holt, R.M. Laws. 19745. Management of multi-species fisheries. Science 205: 267–277.Google Scholar
  17. Maynard Smith, J. 1976. Optimization theory in evolution. Ann. Rev. Ecol. and Syst. 9: 31–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pielou, E.C. 1969. An Introduction to Mathematical Ecology. Wiley- Inter science, New YorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. Slobodkin, L.B. 195 8. Meta-models in theoretical ecology. Ecology 39: 550–557.Google Scholar
  20. Slobodkin, L.B. 1965. “A On the present incompleteness of mathematical ecology! ”Am. Sci. 5 3: 347–357.Google Scholar
  21. Slobodkin, L.B.. 1975. Comments from a biologist to a mathematician. pp. 318–329 in Ecosystem Analysis and Prediction. S. Levin, ed. Soc. Ind. and Appl. Math. Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  22. Slobodkin, L.B.. 19 80. Problems of ecological description. I. The adaptive response surface of Hydra. Mem. 1st. Ital. Idrobiol. (In Press).Google Scholar
  23. Slobodkin, L.B., D. Botkin, B. Maguire, B. Moore, H.J. Morowitz. 1980. On the epistemology of ecosystem analysis in Estuarine Ecosystems, V. S. Kennedy, ed. Academic Press, New York (In Press).Google Scholar
  24. Slobodkin, LB. and A. Rapoport. 1974. An optimal strategy of evolution. Quart. Rev. Bio. 49: 181–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Slobodkin, L.B. and L. Wu. 19 75. An elementary reconstruction of population dynamics: A conversation between a mathematician and a biologist. Simulation Council Proceedings 5(2): 159-166,.Google Scholar
  26. Stearns, SC . 1977. The evolution of life history traits. Ann. Rev. Ecol. and Syst. 8: 145–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wright, S. 19 32. The roles of mutation inbreeding, crossbreeding and selection in evolution. Proc. Sixth Int. Congr. Genetics 1: 356–366.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. B. Slobodkin
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology and Evolution DepartmentState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations