A New Ecology

A New Ecology

Systems Perspective

2nd Edition - August 30, 2019

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  • Authors: Soeren Nielsen, Brian Fath, Simone Bastianoni, Joao Marques, Felix Muller, Bernard Patten, Robert Ulanowicz, Enzo Tiezzi
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444637642
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780444637574

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A New Ecology: Systems Perspective, Second Edition, gives an overview of the commonalities of all ecosystems from a variety of properties, including physical openness, ontic openness, directionality, connectivity, a complex dynamic for growth and development, and a complex dynamic response to disturbances. Each chapter details basic and characteristic properties that help the reader understand how they can be applied to explain a wide spectrum of current ecological research and environmental management applications.

Key Features

  • Contains revised, updated or redeveloped chapters that include the most current research and technology
  • Reviews universal traits of ecosystems from multiple perspectives, giving the reader a complete overview of the systems perspective of ecology
  • Offers broad examples of ecology as a systems science, from the history of science, to philosophy and the arts
  • Brings together the systems perspective in a framework of four columns for greater understanding, including thermodynamics, network theory, hierarchy theory and biochemistry
  • Contains new chapter on the application of the theory to environmental management


Ecologists, environmental scientists, environmental engineers, environmental managers, researchers in biodiversity

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    2. Ecosystems have Openness (Thermodynamic)
    3. Ecosystems have Ontic Openness
    4. Ecosystems have Connectivity
    5. Ecosystems as self-organizing Hierarchies
    6. Ecosystems have Directionality
    7. Ecosystems have Complex Dynamics (Growth and Development)
    8. Ecosystems have Complex Dynamics (Disturbance and Decay)
    9. Ecosystem Principles have Broad Explanatory Power in Ecology
    10. Ecosystem Principles have Ecological Applications
    11. Ecosystems carry important messages to Managers and Policy Makers
    12. Conclusion
    13. References

Product details

  • No. of pages: 270
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2019
  • Published: August 30, 2019
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444637642
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780444637574

About the Authors

Soeren Nielsen

Søren Nors Nielsen, Master of Biology from the University of Copenhagen, PhD in the structural dynamics of Danish shallow lakes from Risø National Laboratory and National Environmental Research Institute, Dr. agregado in Ecology, University of Coimbra. He has been teaching in more than 60 courses in systems analysis, environmental modelling and management, ecosystem theory, cleaner production, industrial ecology, at various universities in Denmark and many other countries. He has since 1989 been working with ecosystem evolution and development mainly from a thermodynamic view, expanding the approach to society. He is associate professor of technoanthropology, and sustainable biotechnology, University of Aalborg in Copenhagen.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University

Brian Fath

Brian D. Fath is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University (Maryland, USA) and Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria). He has published over 180 research papers, reports, and book chapters on environmental systems modeling, specifically in the areas of network analysis, resilience, and sustainability. He co-authored the books Foundations for Sustainability: A Coherent Framework of Life–Environment Relations (2018) and Flourishing Within Limits to Growth: Following nature’s way (2015). He is also Editor-in-Chief for the journal Ecological Modelling. Dr. Fath was the 2016 recipient of the Prigogine Medal for outstanding work in systems ecology, and held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Parthenope University (Naples, Italy) in 2012.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Towson University, MD, USA Senior Research Scholar, Advanced Systems Analysis Program, IIASA, Austria

Simone Bastianoni

Simone Bastianoni is a Full Professor of Environmental and Cultural Heritage Chemistry at the University of Siena, is Chair of the PhD School in Environmental, Geological and Polar Sciences. He is President of the Emergy Society; Member of the Standard Committee of the Global Footprint Network; Specialty Chief Editor of the journal Frontiers in Energy Systems and Policy and Editor of the section Human Ecology and Sustainability of the Encyclopedia of Ecology. He leads the Sustainable Development Solutions Network team at the University of Siena and the sustainability indicators team for the PRIMA Programme.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Siena, Italy

Joao Marques

Born in 1957 (Lisbon, Portugal), PhD in Ecology (University of Coimbra, Portugal) in 1989. As marine and estuarine ecologist, he has worked on biological and ecological processes, systems ecology, and ecological modelling. He coordinated 24 large research projects, both funded by Portuguese Agencies and European Union Programs, playing a key role in creating new research infrastructures at Portuguese national level. Thus far, he has authored or co-authored approximately 300 scientific papers in international refereed journals, 6 books, and 17 book chapters (international editions), having supervised the research work of 51 MSc and 32 PhD students, and 17 Post-Doc Researchers, in Portugal and abroad (Europe and South America). He is Editor-in-Chief of the Ecological Indicators Journal – Elsevier since 2016. In 2017 he was laureate Prigogine Gold Medal for his work in the field of Systems Ecology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (MARE), Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Felix Muller

Felix Müller has studied Biology and Geography. His PhD thesis about soil-geographical investigations on the fate of pesticides in ecosystems was published in 1987. FM was coordinator of the long-term project “Ecosystem Research in the Bornhöved Lakes District” and has worked in more than 25 research projects. Since 2010 FM has been affiliated as leader of the Department Ecosystem Management at the Institute for Natural Resource Conservation of Kiel University. The main recent research interests are ecosystem analysis, modeling, ecosystem services, ecosystem theories, and indicator applications at the landscape scale. FM has been editor of more than 20 books and has published more than 130 scientific papers. He was editor-in chief of the journal “Ecological Indicators” and board member of several journals. FM was the president of the German chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecology and Secretary of the German Chapter of the International Long-Term-Ecological Research Program.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Kiel, Germany

Bernard Patten

Bernard C. Patten is Emeritus Regents' Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia, USA. He is a systems ecologist and ecological modeler, interested in the application of mathematical system theory to ecosystems. He and his colleagues have formulated an environmental system theory, environ theory and analysis, that pioneers the application of network mathematics to ecological networks such as food webs and biogeochemical cycles. He has been a distinguished visiting professor, and has lectured and conducted short courses nationally and internationally. His research publications include 215 papers and nine books on topics spanning marine, freshwater and wetland ecosystems. His edited works include the four-volume series Systems Analysis and Simulation in Ecology (1972-76, Academic Press), two volumes on Wetlands and Shallow Continental Water Bodies (1990, 1994; SPB Academic), and Complex Ecology: The Part–Whole Relation in Ecosystems (1995, Prentice Hall). A multivolume monograph, Holoecology, The Unification of Nature by Network Indirect Effects, is currently in preparation.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Georgia, Athens, USA

Robert Ulanowicz

Affiliations and Expertise

Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, Maryland, USA

Enzo Tiezzi

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Siena, Italy

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