Homage to Yodzis and Innes 1992: Scaling up feeding-based population dynamics to complex ecological networks

Richard J. Williams, Ulrich Brose, Neo D. Martinez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Scientists have long strived to simplify and abstract nature into fundamental categories and statements that could yield understanding of, and predictive insight into, the phenomena they study. Only a few of such abstractions survive the test of time and continue to yield both broad and deep scientific insights. Here, we explore an ecological abstraction that many ecologists including ourselves have found very useful and especially insightful. While it is only one of many abstractions of population growth in nature, we focus on it here because it appears likely to survive the difficult and important transition from modeling a few trophically interacting species to modeling the large complex networks more like those we see in nature. To survive this mission, we desire maximum correspondence with nature and empirical tractability combined with minimal complexity. That is, we want abstractions based on the fewest but most useful and easily measured parameters in order to minimize the costs of complexity while trying to model it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrom Energetics to Ecosystems
Subtitle of host publicationThe Dynamics and Structure of Ecological Systems
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages37-51
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)1402053363, 9781402053368
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

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    Williams, R. J., Brose, U., & Martinez, N. D. (2007). Homage to Yodzis and Innes 1992: Scaling up feeding-based population dynamics to complex ecological networks. In From Energetics to Ecosystems: The Dynamics and Structure of Ecological Systems (pp. 37-51). Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-5337-5_2