as Complex Adaptive Systems

  • Levin S
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Abstract

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. ABSTRACT Ecosystems are prototypical examples of complex adaptive systems, in which patterns at higher levels emerge from localized interactions and selection processes acting at lower levels. An essential aspect of such systems is nonlinearity, leading to historical dependency and multiple possible outcomes of dy-namics. Given this, it is essential to determine the degree to which system features are determined by environmental conditions, and the degree to which they are the result of self-organization. Further-more, given the multiple levels at which dynamics become apparent and at which selection can act, central issues relate to how evolution shapes ecosys-tems properties, and whether ecosystems become buffered to changes (more resilient) over their ecological and evolutionary development or pro-ceed to critical states and the edge of chaos.

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  • Simon A Levin

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