### Abstract

It is impossible to predict the exact behavior of all biological systems and how these same systems are exemplified by patterns of complexity and regularity. Decades of research in ecology have documented how these sorts of patterns are the consequences of deceptively simple rules that determine the nature of the patterns created. Chaos in Ecology will explain how simple beginnings result in complicated results. Chaos in Ecology is the inaugural volume of Theoretical Ecology Series. The authors of this volume have employed data from a proven model system in population dynamics. As a result, this book will be of interest to anyone interested in the ecology of populations. It is impossible to predict the exact behavior of almost all biological systems and yet these same systems are exemplified by patterns of complexity and regularity. Decades of research in ecology have documented that these sorts of patterns are the consequence of deceptively simple rules that determine the nature of the patterns created. In essence, simple beginnings result in complicated results. This realization is captured in the mathematical notion of "chaos" and is rendered intuitive by the oft-repeated metaphor: "A butterfly beats its wings in China and causing a thunderstorm in the Midwest." Thus, seemingly trivial initial conditions (e.g. a butterfly in China) cascade through a series of intermediate events to create a significant large-scale event (e.g. a thunderstorm). Chaos in Ecology is the inaugural volume of Theoretical Ecology Series. The authors of this volume have employed data from a proven model system in population dynamics. As a result, this book will be of interest to anyone interested in the ecology of populations. Chaos in Ecology is a convincing demonstration of chaos in a biological population. The book synthesizes an ecologically focused interdisciplinary blend of non-linear dynamics theory, statistics, and experimentation yielding results of uncommon clarity and rigor. Topics include fundamental issues that are of general and widespread importance to population biology and ecology. Detailed descriptions are included of the mathematical, statistical, and experimental steps they used to explore nonlinear dynamics in ecology. Beginning with a brief overview of chaos theory and its implications for ecology. The book continues by deriving and rigorously testing a mathematical model that is closely wedded to biological mechanisms of their research organism. Therefrom were generated a variety of predictions that are fundamental to chaos theory and experiments were designed and analyzed to test those predictions. Discussion of patterns in chaos and how they can be investigated using real data follows and book ends with a discussion of the salient lessons learned from this research program Book jacket. "The authors have made very circumspect model verifications...The greatest merit of the book is that it confirms experimentally the existence of numerous nonlinear phenomena in populations and presents a new characteristic of populations, that is, the lattice effect. The book is written in an excellent style with high mathematical precision. This work is warmly recommended to all theoretical and field ecologists, and all scientists interested in nonlinear dynamics." -COMMUNITY ECOLOGY (2005) "...rich in statistical concepts and methods. Anyone interested in the dynamics of populations will benefit from reading this book." -ECOLOGY (2003) "In a very real sense, Cushing et al. have done for ecology what Newton did for physics. They have demonstrated that the observed, very complex behavior of biological populations can, at least in principle, be derived and predicted from a knowledge of the operant biological mechanisms expressed in simple mathematical models. ...Chaos in Ecology is a road-map for making ecology into a genuinely predictive science." -Aaron A. King, University of Tennessee (2002) "This is the definitive source on chaos in ecology. Well-written and authoritative." -Simon Levin, Princeton University (2002) "Chaos in Ecology ought to be read by both field and theoretical ecologists." -COMPLEX SYSTEMS LAB, BARCELONA SPAIN. "This work is warmly recommended to all theoretical and field ecologists, and all scientists interested in nonlinear dynamics." -COMMUNITY ECOLOGY (2005) "...an elegant blend of mathematics, statistics, and biology..." -CHANCE (Fall 2003) "...rich in statistical concepts and methods. Anyone interested in the dynamics of populations will benefit from reading this book." -ECOLOGY (2003) "In a very real sense, Cushing et al. have done for ecology what Newton did for physics." -Aaron A. King, University of Tennessee (2002) "This is the definitive source on chaos in ecology. Well-written and authoritative." -Simon Levin, Princeton University (2002) "Chaos in Ecology ought to be read by both field and theoretical ecologists." -COMPLEX SYSTEMS LAB, BARCELONA SPAIN.

Original language | English (US) |
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Publisher | Elsevier Inc. |

ISBN (Print) | 9780121988760 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 2005 |

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### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

### Cite this

*Chaos in Ecology*. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-198876-0.X5000-3