A dynamical approach to ecosystem identity

Collier, John, and Cumming, Graeme (2011) A dynamical approach to ecosystem identity. In: deLaplante, Kevin, Brown, Bryson, and Peacock, Kent A., (eds.) Philosophy of Ecology. Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, 11 . Elsevier, Oxford, UK, pp. 201-218.

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This chapter focuses on the need for identity criteria for ecosystems that must be dynamic, because measurements with other interactions and interventions in ecosystems are themselves dynamic, and because important accounts of ecosystems focus on processes, rather than mere descriptions of their structures or states at various times. It backs up the importance of a focus on dynamic concepts in view of ecosystems with remarks on Amazonian deforestation and debates over the wider vs. narrower applicability of models and interventions to protect the forests in different areas; these questions turn on dynamic features of these forests, and thus fit well with a dynamic notion of ecosystem identity. It also links view of ecosystem identity to Michael Ghiselin's and David Hull's view of species as individuals, not natural kinds: Species are likewise unified by the dynamic relations, including common descent and a shared gene pool, or (in cases of isolation) potential for shared gene pool. Like species, ecosystems are capable of persistence, division, and merger, and links and conditions on change over time are crucial. The chapter closes with exploration metamodels, "more general models that incorporate and summarize the findings of many specific models." These are at least in part, tools or general components for building more specific models of ecosystems and their properties, a wide range of dynamic metamodels for complex adaptive systems, grounded in thermodynamics, agency, and the process of adaptation. All of these are sources of an insight into system individuation, and illustrate how multiple metamodels can help illuminate ecosystem processes.

Item ID: 41109
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-444-51673-2
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2015 01:33
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 34%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050199 Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
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