Stability and complexity in model ecosystems


Stability and complexity in model ecosystems

with a new introduction by the author, Robert M. May

(Princeton landmarks in biology)

Princeton University Press, 2001

  • : pbk.

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 16



Originally published: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1973.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-258) and index



What makes populations stabilize? What makes them fluctuate? Are populations in complex ecosystems more stable than populations in simple ecosystems? In 1973, Robert May addressed these questions in this classic book. May investigated the mathematical roots of population dynamics and argued-counter to most current biological thinking-that complex ecosystems in themselves do not lead to population stability. Stability and Complexity in Model Ecosystems played a key role in introducing nonlinear mathematical models and the study of deterministic chaos into ecology, a role chronicled in James Gleick's book Chaos. In the quarter century since its first publication, the book's message has grown in power. Nonlinear models are now at the center of ecological thinking, and current threats to biodiversity have made questions about the role of ecosystem complexity more crucial than ever. In a new introduction, the author addresses some of the changes that have swept biology and the biological world since the book's first publication.


Preface vii Preface to the Second Edition Biology Edition 1. Intoduction 3 2. Mathematical Models and Stability 13 3. Stability versus Complexity in Multispecies Models 4. Models with Few Species: Limit Cycles and Time Delays 79 5. Randomly Fluctuating Environments 109 6. Niche Overlap and Limiting Similarity 139 7. Speculations 172 Appendices 187 Afterthoughts for the Second Edition 211 Bibliography to Afterthoghts 234 Bibliography 241 Author Index 259 Subject Index 263

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