Author(s): Jensen HJ, Arcaute E
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Abstract We discuss the relevance of studying ecology within the framework of Complexity Science from a statistical mechanics approach. Ecology is concerned with understanding how systems level properties emerge out of the multitude of interactions among large numbers of components, leading to ecosystems that possess the prototypical characteristics of complex systems. We argue that statistical mechanics is at present the best methodology available to obtain a quantitative description of complex systems, and that ecology is in urgent need of "integrative" approaches that are quantitative and nonstationary. We describe examples where combining statistical mechanics and ecology has led to improved ecological modeling and, at the same time, broadened the scope of statistical mechanics.
This article was published in Ann N Y Acad Sci
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access