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Balance of nature

About: Balance of nature is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 450 publications have been published within this topic receiving 8626 citations. The topic is also known as: ecological balance.


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The more recent concepts of point equilibrium and static stability, which characterize the classical equilibrium paradigm in ecology, are traceable to the assumptions implicit in "balance of nature" as mentioned in this paper, which has failed not only because equilibrium conditions are rare in nature, but also because of our past inability to incorporate heterogeneity and scale multiplicity into our quantitative expressions for stability.
Abstract: A common assumption historically in ecology is evident in the term "balance of nature." The phrase usually implies that undisturbed nature is ordered and harmonius, and that ecological systems return to a previous equilibrium after disturbances. The more recent concepts of point equilibrium and static stability, which characterize the classical equilibrium paradigm in ecology, are traceable to the assumptions implicit in "balance of nature." The classical equilibrium view, however, has failed not only because equilibrium conditions are rare in nature, but also because of our past inability to incorporate heterogeneity and scale multiplicity into our quantitative expresssions for stability. The theories and models built around these equlibrium and stability principles have misrepresented the foundations of resource management, nature conservation, and environemtnal protection. In this paper, we sysntesize recent developments that advance our understandings of equilibrium vs. nonequilibrium, homogeneity vs....

1,179 citations

Book
01 Feb 1992
TL;DR: In The Balance of Nature?, a work sure to stir controversy, the distinguished theoretical ecologist Stuart L Pimm argues that ecology fails in many ways to address the enormous ecological problems now facing our planet as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Ecologists, although they acknowledge the problems involved, generally conduct their research on too few species, in too small an area, over too short a period of time In The Balance of Nature?, a work sure to stir controversy, the distinguished theoretical ecologist Stuart L Pimm argues that ecology therefore fails in many ways to address the enormous ecological problems now facing our planet Ecologists describing phenomena on larger scales often use terms like "stability," "balance of nature," and "fragility," and Pimm begins by considering the various specific meanings of these terms He addresses five kinds of ecological stability--stability in the strict sense, resilience, variability, persistence, and resistance--and shows how they provide ways of comparing natural populations and communities as well as theories about them Each type of stability depends on characteristics of the species studied and also on the structure of the food web in which the species is embedded and the physical features of the environment The Balance of Nature? provides theoretical ecology with a rich array of questions--questions that also underpin pressing problems in practical conservation biology Pimm calls for nothing less than new approaches to ecology and a new alliance between theoretical and empirical studies

900 citations

Book
01 Jan 1990
TL;DR: The 1990s may be the last decade during which constructive and creative decisions, activities, and investments can be made to ensure that many of the world's species and ecosystems are maintained, examined for their material and ecological value, and promoted for sustainable use to support new and innovative approaches to development as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The 1990s may be the last decade during which constructive and creative decisions, activities, and investments can be made to ensure that many of the world's species and ecosystems are maintained, examined for their material and ecological value, and promoted for sustainable use to support new and innovative approaches to development. The combination of maintaining the maximum possible biological and cultural diversity, and the greatest possible scientific endeavor seems the most sensible approach toward dealing with the dynamic future facing humanity. The elements now exist that will reverse the trend toward the biotic impoverishment of the world. New partners in conservation need to be found, involving all ministries, departments, and private institutions that are directly dependent on biological resources. For example, national parks departments should be joined in habitat management by a wide range of other institutions to represent all interests. Furthermore, other line agencies need to develop the capacity to manage biodiversity of particular relevance to their respective missions. Actions taken in the next few years will determine whether we take a road toward a chaotic future characterized by overexploitation and abuse of our biological resources, or take the road toward maintaining greater biological diversity and resource sustainability.

838 citations

Book
01 Jan 1961

775 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

716 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
202330
202257
202136
202029
201916
201826