Ecosystem adaptation: Do ecosystems maximise resilience?

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Title Ecosystem adaptation: Do ecosystems maximise resilience?
Author Cropp, Roger Allan; Gabric, Albert Jerome
Journal Name Ecology
Year Published 2002
Place of publication USA
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Abstract The response of an ecological system to perturbation can be described in terms of its resilience, essentially a measure of the time the system takes to return to its prior state. The resilience of an ecosystem is the result of interactions of the biota and their environment and will therefore change as the biota evolve and environmental conditions change. Ecological systems exist within the constraints of thermodynamic laws that prescribe the transfer of energy. Ecologically defined “thermodynamic imperatives,” such as entropy, exergy, and ascendency, provide whole-ecosystem selection pressures that constrain the evolution of individuals within an ecosystem in addition to the selection pressures of individual evolution. The essence of these whole-ecosystem selection pressures may be captured by metrics. We have used a “genetic algorithm” to optimize these metrics, simulating the adaptation of a model ecosystem biota. Our simulations suggest the hypothesis that, within the constraints of the external environment and the genetic potential of their constituent biota, ecosystems will evolve to the state most resilient to perturbation.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://esapubs.org/esapubs/journals/ecology.htm
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[2019:EADEMR]2.0.CO;2
Copyright Statement Copyright 2002 Ecological Society of America. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 83
Issue Number 7
Page from 2019
Page to 2026
ISSN 0012-9658
Date Accessioned 2003-03-18
Date Available 2009-12-21T06:46:27Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Atmospheric Environment Research Centre; Australian Rivers Institute
Faculty Faculty of Environmental Sciences
Subject PRE2009-Ecology and Evolution
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/6737
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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