Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems

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CRC Press, Nov 24, 2003 - Technology & Engineering - 472 pages
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Ecologists, agronomists, and others who may question the validity of current models for determining sustainable growth of agroecosystems, need a new set of analytical tools that more effectively address the complex nature of related processes. Those who challenge traditional assumptions of optimization and static factors in agricultural modeling demand new methods beyond differential equations and traditional statistical tests.

Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems explores alternative ways to study agricultural sustainability, presenting new approaches to organizing data and applying complex systems theory to actual cases. This innovative text recognizes the changing dynamics of the multiple processes and cross-relations within an environment, proposing a clearer analysis of agroecosystems than that which can be provided by rigid, reductionist methods.


Main concepts, new vocabulary and narratives, and practical examples open the book, followed by technical chapters that provide a more detailed explanation of concepts. The final section of the book presents a tool kit based on these concepts, resulting in strong support of empirical observations that challenge traditional notions regarding the sustainability of farming systems, food systems, and agroecosystems.
  

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Contents

The Crash of Reductionism against the Complexity of Reality
3
The Epistemological Predicament Entailed by Complexity
15
Complex Systems Thinking New Concepts and Narratives
43
The New Terms of Reference for Science for Governance Postnormal Science
71
Integrated Assessment of Agroecosystems and Multi Criteria Analysis Basic Definitions and Challenges
93
Complex Systems Thinking Daring to Violate Basic Taboos of Reductionism
127
Forget about the Occam Razor Looking for MultiScale Mosaic Effects
129
Impredicative Loop Analysis Dealing with the Representation of ChickenEgg Processes
171
Sustainability Requires the Ability to Generate Useful Narratives Capable of Surfing Complex Time
231
Complex Systems Thinking in Action MultiScale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems
277
MultiScale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems Bridging Disciplinary Gaps and Hierarchical Levels
283
MultiScale Integrated Analysis of Agroecosystems Technological Changes and Ecological Compatibility
325
MultiScale Integrated Analysis of Farming Systems Benchmarking and Tailoring Representations across Levels
369
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About the author (2003)

Mario Giampietro is an ICREA Research Professor at ICTA (Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment), Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.