CSDMS 2015 annual Meeting - Models meet data, data meet models

Quo Vadis Ecosystem? Insights from Ecological Modelling and Systems Ecology

Brian Fath

Towson University; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, United States

The question of ecosystem dynamics is relevant from a scientific and management perspective. Knowing the natural tendencies and trajectories of ecosystems will assist in planning for their development and restoration. One key feature is how the ecosystem uses the available energy flows to move further from thermodynamic equilibrium and increase its overall complexity in terms of total biomass, biodiversity, network connectivity, and information. In this presentation, I review some of the main concepts that have been used to identify these dynamic trajectories. Namely, it can be shown using network analysis that a number of ecological goal functions pertaining to energy, exergy, biomass, embodied energy, entropy, and information are complementary displaying various angles of the same general complexification phenomena.

Please acknowledge the original contributors when you are using this material. If there are any copyright issues, please let us know ( and we will respond as soon as possible.

Of interest for:
  • Ecosystem Dynamics Focus Research Group