Ecological and general systems: an introduction to systems ecology

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University Press of Colorado, 1994 - Science - 644 pages
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Using an energy systems language that combines energetics, kinetics, information, cybernetics, and simulation, Ecological and General Systems compares models of many fields of science, helping to derive general systems principles. First published as Systems Ecology in 1983, Ecological and General Systems proposes principles of self-organization and the designs that prevail by maximizing power and efficiency. Comparisons to fifty other systems languages are provided. Innovative presentations are given on earth homeostasis (Gaia); the inadequacy of presenting equations without network relationships and energy constraints; the alternative interpretation of high entropy complexity as adaptive structure; basic equations of ecological economics; and the energy basis of scientific hierarchy. Part I introduces energetics, hierarchy, and systems modeling. Part II features design elements: intersections, autocatalytic modules, loops, series, parallel elements, and webs. Part III includes embodied energy, spectra of energy quality, temperature, complexity, spatial distribution, and diversity. Part IV discusses production, consumption, ecosystems, succession, economic systems, anthropological models, urban and regional models, global biogeochemistry, and the universe.

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Contents

Introduction to Energy Systems
3
Ecosystems and Energy Hierarchy
15
Storage and Flow
25
Microcomputer Simulation
46
Analog Computer Simulation
53
Logic Systems and Other Languages
72
Energy
95
DESIGN ELEMENTS
121
Spatial Distribution and Diversity
323
SYSTEMS OF NATURE AND HUMANITY
353
Producers
355
Consumers
383
Ecosystems
406
Succession
443
Economic Systems and the Nation
476
Ecosystems with Humans
508

Intersections
123
Autocatalytic Modules
141
Loops
160
Series
182
Parallel Elements
206
Webs
223
Temperature
288
Complexity Information and Order
302
Cities and Regions
532
World Patterns
554
The Unity of Systems
572
ORGANIZATION
605
PATTERN
609
Energy Quality and Embodied Energy 251 References 15 Spectrum of Energy Distribution and Author Index Pulsing 269 Subject Index 584
615
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