NCEAS Project 2700

Cross-scale organization and resilience of ecological systems

  • Garry Peterson
  • Craig R. Allen
  • Crawford S. Holling

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group11th—13th June 2000Participant List  
Working Group2nd—4th March 2001Participant List  

Abstract
Ecological organization varies across scales. We propose that the resilience of ecosystems depends upon the distribution of ecological functions performed by species and processes within and across scales. Furthermore, we propose resilience, and the vulnerability of species can be assessed by analyzing the distribution of function across scales by analyzing the distribution of species body masses, that correlates strongly with the scale at which species perform ecological functions. Our working group will test these propositions using two complimentary approaches. Firstly, we will develop and refine alternate methods of pattern detection and comparison to examine empirical ecosystem data. Secondly, we will synthesize existing models of cross-scale ecological organization. These approaches will be synthesized by using the analytical methods to compare body mass patterns produced by modeled and actual ecosystems.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Allen, Craig R.; Holling, Crawford S. 2002. Cross-scale structure and scale breaks in ecosystems and other complex systems. Ecosystems (Special feature on Discontinuous Structure in Ecological Systems). Vol: 5(4). Pages 315-318.
Journal Article Allen, Craig R.; Saunders, Denis A. 2002. Variability between scales: Predictors of nomadism in birds of an Australian Mediterranean-climate ecosystem. Ecosystems (Special feature on Discontinuous Structure in Ecological Systems). Vol: 5(4). Pages 348-359.
Journal Article Allen, Craig R.; Garmestani, A. S.; Havlicek, Tanya; Marquet, Pablo A.; Peterson, Garry; Restrepo, Carla; Stow, Craig; Weeks, B. E. 2006. Patterns in body mass distributions: Sifting among alternative hypotheses. Ecology Letters. Vol: 9. Pages 630-643.
Journal Article Forys, Elizabeth A.; Allen, Craig R. 2002. Functional group change within and across scales following invasions and extinctions in the Everglades ecosystem. Ecosystems (Special feature on Discontinuous Structure in Ecological Systems). Vol: 5(4). Pages 339-347.
Book Chapter Marquet, Pablo A.; Abades, Sebastian R.; Keymer, Juan E.; Zeballos, H. 2008. Discontinuities in body size distributions: A view from the top. Edited by Allen, C.R.; Holling, C.S.. Discontinuity theory in ecosystems and other complex systems. Columbia University Press.
Journal Article Peterson, Garry. 2002. Contagious disturbance, ecological memory, and the emergence of landscape pattern. Ecosystems. Vol: 5(4). Pages 329-338.