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HierarchyPerspectives for Ecological Complexity$
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T. F. H. Allen and Thomas B. Starr

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226489544

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226489711.001.0001

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Diversity and Connectedness

Diversity and Connectedness

Chapter:
(p.270) Chapter Eleven Diversity and Connectedness
Source:
Hierarchy
Author(s):

T.F.H. Allen

Thomas B. Starr

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226489711.003.0012

Diversity is largely debunked as a meaningful concept, particularly with regard to stability. The key to stability is the degree and pattern of connectedness. This applies to the stability of agricultural systems. Over-connected systems spontaneously go into positive feedback that tears the system apart. Under-connected systems are open to invasion. The systems we see often are those with some device for adjusting connectedness so as to fall within the bounds of stability. Accordingly animals turn to territoriality and social hierarchies to maintain stability as the environment presses them toward some version of catastrophe.

Keywords:   agriculture, complexity, connectedness, diversity, filtering, social hierarchies, stability, territoriality

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