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The central problem of ecology concern the relationships of individual organisms with their environment, the interactions and diversity of species and the fluxes of energy and materials through ecosystems. All levels of ecological organization, from individual organisms to assemblages of species to ecosystems to the entire biosphere, are examples of complex systems with their typical features i.e. ecological systems are comprized of many parts; they are open systems that maintain themselves far from equilibrium by the uptake and transformation of energy and by exchange of organisms and matter across their boundaries; they are adaptive, responding to changing environments; they have irreversible histories; and, consequently, they exhibit a rich variety of complex, non-linear dynamics.

Additional information

Authors: ISIS, ;ISPRA (IT),
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Tempos in Science and Nature, Vienna (AT), September 23-26th, 1998
Availability: Available from DG XIII as Paper EN 41640 ORA
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