An Ideal Ecosystem and Several Problems of Our Time


Yury Kamenir
The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Series: Environmental Research Advances
BISAC: SCI026000

The general aim of this book is to explain the development of several types of models using an extremely small number of parameters in an attempt to find consistent properties of integral living matter within aquatic ecosystems. Starting from a minimal model of the whole study [i.e. the ideal minimal ecosystem (IMES)], the authors developed a series of statistical models (size spectra, rank distribution, and regression models, including allometries). They then proceeded from ataxonomic to taxonomic size spectra to demonstrate and explain the high consistency of natural communities. Several types of species size-frequency distributions or “taxonomic size spectra” were applied, diminishing the importance of rare species and the assemblage time-space heterogeneity.

A series of original studies written during the last thirty years to develop condensed, formalized models and empirical comparisons has demonstrated general patterns and the model’s drawbacks; hence, several cycles of modernization were fulfilled, revealing both the stability of natural aquatic communities and small-scale variability of the general pattern. Comparisons of several taxonomic hierarchy levels speak in favor of the whole-assemblage origin of the statistical mechanisms, supporting the long-term consistency of phytoplankton taxonomic size structure. Specific changes in the taxonomic size spectrum fine structure were evident and may be helpful for diagnostics, while the spectrum general pattern consistency can be helpful for monitoring and modeling the aim of this study.

The consistency difference between several levels of the phytoplankton taxonomic hierarchy was demonstrated as a new phenomenon important for modeling, monitoring, and ecological forecast. Though stochastic dynamics of abundances and biomasses often emerge from experiments and mathematical models, some predictable patterns and indices emerged from large-scale studies of natural aquatic assemblages. Mathematical models demonstrated the formation of long-tail distributions produced by metabolic webs. Such consistency phenomena lead to explanatory ecological models based on concepts of the living whirl (G. Cuvier), living matter (V. Vernadsky), dissipative structures, and biogeochemical cycles. Aquatic (marine and freshwater) ecosystem management could be sufficiently strengthened, applying reliable patterns and descriptors suitable for forecasting and diagnostic purposes.
(Imprint: Nova)




Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Our World is Changing

Chapter 2. Living Matter

Chapter 3. Living Vortex

Chapter 4. Ideal Minimal Ecosystem

Chapter 5. Modeling and Minimal Building Blocks

Chapter 6. Allometry and Metabolic Surface

Chapter 7. Size Spectra and Total Surface Area of Living Matter of the Ocean

Chapter 8. A Comparison of Eight Aquatic Ecosystems

Chapter 9. Size Structure Stability of Phytoplankton Assemblage in a Subtropical Lake

Chapter 10. The Long-term Patterns of Phytoplankton Taxonomic Size-structure

Chapter 11. Comparison of Taxonomic Size-Structure of Several Aquatic Ecosystems

Chapter 12. Consistency of Taxonomic Size-structure of Major Phytoplankton Phyla

Chapter 13. A Multisided Analysis of Living Matter

Chapter 14. High Orderliness of Phytoplankton Taxonomic Structure

Chapter 15. A XX Century Interpretation

Chapter 16. Res Public Biosphere




“The book An Ideal Ecosystem and Several Problems of Our Time, is a unique, most impressive, thought inspiring volume. It uses models based on the author’s extensive research in aquatic ecosystems to address general ecosystem properties, up to the biosphere scale. The author also draws on his insightful vast knowledge of ecological theory to create an original, coherent view of the structure and function of life’s hierarchical assemblages. There is no similar book, and it will be a great source of stimulation for researchers and advanced students interested in the theoretical and philosophical aspects of contemporary ecological thought.” – Professor Zvy Dubinsky, Life Sciences Department, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Click here to read the book review by – Dr. Georgiy Shulman, Corresponding Member of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences

Click here to read the book review by – Aleksandr Prazukin, Doctor of Science (Biology, Ecology), Leading Research Associate, Institute of Marine Biological Research RAS (IMBR RAS)Russia

Additional Information

The scientific community and people interested in modeling of biological systems, self-maintenance of ecological systems and environment protection is the intended audience.

Additional information