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  • Ecosystems
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Ecological modelling, 2011, Vol.222(16), pp.2878-2890
    Description: Ecosystems are dynamic complexes. These dynamics can be described by different ecophysiological parameters and systems theoretical concepts like succession, thermodynamics, information/network theory, resilience, adaptability and the orientor concept. In this paper, different indicators and concepts are linked to Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor in order to derive hypotheses on potential system trajectories. The hypotheses focus on an exemplary temperate forest ecosystem experiencing the adaptive cycle's four phases of exploitation, conservation, collapse and reorganization after an initializing fire event. The different properties are correlated to the number of total system connections and show varying trajectories. Additionally, the provision of selected forest ecosystem services during the different phases is hypothesized and compared to three other land use types. ; p. 2878-2890.
    Keywords: Forests ; Ecosystem Services ; Ecosystems ; Land Use
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    E-ISSN: 18727026
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Modelling, Feb 10, 2013, Vol.250, p.25(9)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.10.015 Byline: Shaoqing Chen (a), Bin Chen (a), Brian D. Fath (b)(c) Keywords: Ecological risk assessment; System-based model; Ecosystem evaluation; Environmental management Abstract: a* State-of-the-art of system-based models for ecological risk assessment (ERA) were reviewed. a* The ERA models were compared on various aspects and mapped into different levels. a* The possibility and usefulness of model integration were discussed in a regulatory context. a* An integrated framework was developed to streamline ERA from the system's perspective. Author Affiliation: (a) School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China (b) Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, Towson, MD 21252, USA (c) Advanced Systems Analysis, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria Article History: Received 9 February 2012; Revised 12 October 2012; Accepted 16 October 2012
    Keywords: Risk Assessment -- Models ; Ecosystems -- Models
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Environmental Pollution, July, 2014, Vol.190, p.139(11)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.03.032 Byline: Shaoqing Chen, Bin Chen, Brian D. Fath Abstract: Urbanization is a strong and extensive driver that causes environmental pollution and climate change from local to global scale. Modeling cities as ecosystems has been initiated by a wide range of scientists as a key to addressing challenging problems concomitant with urbanization. In this paper, 'urban ecosystem modeling (UEM)' is defined in an inter-disciplinary context to acquire a broad perception of urban ecological properties and their interactions with global change. Furthermore, state-of-the-art models of urban ecosystems are reviewed, categorized as top-down models (including materials/energy-oriented models and structure-oriented models), bottom-up models (including land use-oriented models and infrastructure-oriented models), or hybrid models thereof. Based on the review of UEM studies, a future framework for explicit UEM is proposed based the integration of UEM approaches of different scales, guiding more rational urban management and efficient emissions mitigation. Author Affiliation: (a) State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China (b) Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, Towson, MD 21252, USA (c) Advanced Systems Analysis, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria Article History: Received 7 January 2014; Revised 24 March 2014; Accepted 25 March 2014
    Keywords: Pollution Control -- Models ; Global Temperature Changes -- Models ; Urbanization -- Models ; Ecosystems -- Models
    ISSN: 0269-7491
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Modelling, March 10, 2013, Vol.252, p.214(6)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.06.010 Byline: Brian D. Fath (a)(b), Ursula M. Scharler (c), Dan Baird (d) Keywords: Ecological network analysis; Environ Analysis; EcoPath; Cycling; Model aggregation; Sylt-Romo Bight Ecosystem Abstract: a* The Finn Cycling Index values published in EcoPath are not true FCI values. a* Total system throughputtotal system throughflow. a* Model aggregation affects connectivity measures and homogenization. a* Cycling, indirectness, and synergism are invariant to network size. Author Affiliation: (a) Biology Department, Towson University, USA (b) Advanced Systems Analysis Program, IIASA, Austria (c) School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (d) Department of Botany & Zoology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
    Keywords: Ecosystems -- Models
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Modelling, 10 January 2016, Vol.319, pp.112-118
    Description: Systems ecology is sufficiently developed today to offer a consistent theory about ecosystem function due to the contributions from a number of system ecologists during the last forty to fifty years. During the last five years, additional important contributions to systems ecology have been published in in the areas of hierarchy theory, landscape processes, and thermodynamic indicators. For example, research showed that hierarchical organization has an important damping effect in the higher levels on disturbances occurring in the lower levels and that the damping effect increases with increasing biodiversity; this result is consistent with experimental and model results. A first attempt has been made to integrate hierarchical and network theory on the levels of ecosystems/landscapes using model experiments. The model experiments point toward an expansion of the Ecological Law of Thermodynamics (ELT) to ecosystems developing on the landscape, where it previous was shown valid for populations fitting in an ecosystem. Regarding thermodynamic indicators of ecological organization, flow transfers were used to quantify the usable work energy, including the work energy of information, in ecological networks. In particular, this new approach included the cycling of information, which is changed by transfers of work energy due to different values of the donors and the receptors. These changes, however, distribute to all the components of the network. The cardinal network hypotheses proposed by B. Patten have been expanded (published in this issue of ) and it has been shown that both the maximization of power (the flows of useful work energy) and the maximization of the storage of usable work energy including that of information in ecosystems’ networks are valid and complementary. This result represents a first integration of the Maximum Power Hypothesis and the Ecological Law of Thermodynamics with Network Theory, and it is presumed that a complete integration of all three theories, hierarchical, network and thermodynamic, could be expected in the coming years.
    Keywords: Systems Ecology ; Hierarchies ; Thermodynamics ; Networks ; Maximum Power ; Information ; Environmental Sciences ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    E-ISSN: 1872-7026
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Modelling, 24 January 2018, Vol.368, pp.33-40
    Description: For over 40 years, Professor Bernie Patten, offered a course on Field Systems Ecology at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, USA. The course combined systems analysis approaches and natural field ecology in a way that gave the students new perspectives on making conceptual and formal models of the natural world. The course employed extensive use of outdoor field laboratories at a nearby park, which had multiple ecological habitats. The main progression was to go from simple observations to “seeing systems” to modeling by learning how to ask pertinent systems-oriented questions. This started with a structured walk through the six identified subsystems (forest ridgetop, forest slope, field, lake, stream, and wetland) and proceeded to specific field sampling techniques for the terrestrial and aquatic environments. In addition to the field labs, the course required two weekend camping trips, one to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park in the Appalachian Mountains and one to the Okefenokee Swamp/Cumberland Island National Seashore. The idea was to use the two weekend trips to frame the local watershed scale processes at the continental scale. In this manner, students could observe and measure ecosystem processes and interactions at multiple scales. The notes, which are reproduced below, have been further modified for use at Towson University which utilizes a local park in Baltimore County called Oregon Ridge Park and weekend trips to Catoctin National Park and Chesapeake Bay. The general approach of these notes should have universal appeal to anyone teaching or taking a systems ecology course.
    Keywords: Systems Ecology ; Field Ecology ; Class Laboratory Exercise ; Models ; Observation and Measurement ; Environmental Sciences ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    E-ISSN: 1872-7026
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Ecological modelling, 2013, Vol.252, pp.214-219
    Description: In this paper, we use data gathered from the Sylt–Rømø Bight Ecosystem in Germany to conduct an ecological network analysis. Specifically, we perform Network Environ Analysis to compare with results already published using EcoPath, which incorporates the ecological network analysis package NETWRK. We focus on the issue of model aggregation in that the Sylt–Rømø Bight Ecosystem has data sets representing nine subsystems. We find that the network properties total system throughflow, cycling, indirect effects ratio, and path proliferation are not affected by aggregation whereas connectivity, homogenization, and synergism are affected. The most interesting result to emerge from this analysis is that careful attention is needed to the different use of total system throughflow and total system throughput (both of which are called TST in the literature). As a result of this difference, the calculations for the Finn Cycling Index differ between the various ecological network analysis packages. Noting that Finn based his index on the total system throughflow approach, a consistent method should be adopted if the metrics are reported as FCI. Further work is needed to determine if a simple correction factor can be applied to the NETWRK and EcoPath values or if the coding algorithms should be changed to reflect the FCI approach. ; p. 214-219.
    Keywords: Data Collection ; Homogenization ; Synergism ; Ecosystems ; Trophic Relationships ; Algorithms
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    Source: AGRIS (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2017, Vol.12(2), p.e0171184
    Description: Global commodity trade networks are critical to our collective sustainable development. Their increasing interconnectedness pose two practical questions: (i) Do the current network configurations support their further growth? (ii) How resilient are these networks to economic shocks? We analyze the data of global commodity trade flows from 1996 to 2012 to evaluate the relationship between structural properties of the global commodity trade networks and (a) their dynamic growth, as well as (b) the resilience of their growth with respect to the 2009 global economic shock. Specifically, we explore the role of network efficiency and redundancy using the information theory-based network flow analysis. We find that, while network efficiency is positively correlated with growth, highly efficient systems appear to be less resilient, losing more and gaining less growth following an economic shock. While all examined networks are rather redundant, we find that network redundancy does not hinder their growth. Moreover, systems exhibiting higher levels of redundancy lose less and gain more growth following an economic shock. We suggest that a strategy to support making global trade networks more efficient via, e.g., preferential trade agreements and higher specialization, can promote their further growth; while a strategy to increase the global trade networks' redundancy via e.g., more abundant free-trade agreements, can improve their resilience to global economic shocks.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Modelling, June 24, 2015, Vol.306, p.160(14)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.10.027 Byline: Joyita Mukherjee, Ursula M. Scharler, Brian D. Fath, Santanu Ray Abstract: * Robustness in estuarine ecosystem is investigated through ENA. * Mdloti, a temporarily open or close estuary in South Africa is considered as study site. * Different ENA indices are calculated and analyzed for original and perturbed networks. * Change in robustness is not significant for change in the autotrophic biomass scenario but is significant for the other two scenarios. * Robustness is proved to be a good measurement for ecosystem health in this study. Author Affiliation: (a) Ecological Modelling Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan, India (b) School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban 4041, South Africa (c) Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, Towson, MD, USA (d) Advanced Systems Analysis Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria
    Keywords: Estuaries – Measurement ; Ecosystems – Measurement
    ISSN: 0304-3800
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, June 2013, Vol.90, pp.177-186
    Description: Sustainability as a concept has multiple disparate perspectives stemming from different related disciplines which either maintain ambiguous interpretations or concentrate on metrics pertaining to single aspects of a system. Given the embedded multi-dimensionality of sustainability, systemic approaches are needed that can cope with interactions of different dimensions. Past efforts for measuring sustainability holistically have taken an accounting approach based on the availability and efficiency of resource flows. However, an accounting approach fails to fully incorporate the intensive parameters pertaining to sustainability. An ecological information-based approach is a promising holistic measurement which incorporates both intensive and extensive dimensions of sustainability. This paper evaluates this approach by applying it to six economic resource trade flow networks: virtual water, oil, world commodity, OECD + BRIC commodity, OECD + BRIC foreign direct investment, and iron and steel. From the perspective of biomimicry, it appears that these networks can achieve higher levels of efficiency without weakening their robustness to resource delivery. The trends of measured efficiency and redundancy of the studied networks are demonstrated to be useful in reflecting long term changes while the trend in robustness levels were found to exhibit similar behavior to an ecosystem in its early phase of development.
    Keywords: Economic Resource Networks ; Ecological Information Theory ; Indicators ; Robustness ; Sustainability ; Environmental Sciences ; Ecology ; Economics
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    E-ISSN: 1873-6106
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