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  1. Thomas R. Alley (1985). Organism-Environment Mutuality Epistemics, and the Concept of an Ecological Niche. Synthese 65 (3):411 - 444.
    The concept of an ecological niche (econiche) has been used in a variety of ways, some of which are incompatible with a relational or functional interpretation of the term. This essay seeks to standardize usage by limiting the concept to functional relations between organisms and their surroundings, and to revise the concept to include epistemic relations. For most organisms, epistemics are a vital aspect of their functional relationships to their surroundings and, hence, a major determinant of their econiche. Rejecting the (...)
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  2. Ángel Blasco, Luis Sanz, Pierre Auger & Rafael Bravo de la Parra (2002). Linear Discrete Population Models with Two Time Scales in Fast Changing Environments II: Non-Autonomous Case. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (1).
    As the result of the complexity inherent in nature, mathematical models employed in ecology are often governed by a large number of variables. For instance, in the study of population dynamics we often deal with models for structured populations in which individuals are classified regarding their age, size, activity or location, and this structuring of the population leads to high dimensional systems. In many instances, the dynamics of the system is controlled by processes whose time scales are very different from (...)
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  3. Mark Colyvan (2013). Idealisations in Normative Models. Synthese 190 (8):1337-1350.
    In this paper I discuss the kinds of idealisations invoked in normative theories—logic, epistemology, and decision theory. I argue that very often the so-called norms of rationality are in fact mere idealisations invoked to make life easier. As such, these idealisations are not too different from various idealisations employed in scientific modelling. Examples of the latter include: fluids are incompressible (in fluid mechanics), growth rates are constant (in population ecology), and the gravitational influence of distant bodies can be ignored (in (...)
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  4. Mark Colyvan & Lev R. Ginzburg (2003). The Galilean Turn in Population Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):401-414.
    The standard mathematical models in population ecology assume that a population's growth rate is a function of its environment. In this paper we investigate an alternative proposal according to which the rate of change of the growth rate is a function of the environment and of environmental change. We focus on the philosophical issues involved in such a fundamental shift in theoretical assumptions, as well as on the explanations the two theories offer for some of (...)
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  5. Gregory Cooper (2001). Must There Be a Balance of Nature? Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):481-506.
    The balance of nature concept is an old idea that manifests itself in anumber of forms in population and community ecology. This paper focuseson population ecology, where controversy surrounding the balance ofnature takes the form of perennial debates over the significance ofdensity dependence, population regulation, and species interactions suchas competition. One of the most striking features of these debates, overthe course of the previous century in ecology, is the tendency to arguethe case on largely conceptual grounds. This paper explores twoquestions. (...)
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  6. Kim Cuddington (2001). The “Balance of Nature” Metaphor and Equilibrium in Population Ecology. Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):463-479.
    I claim that the balance of nature metaphoris shorthand for a paradigmatic view of natureas a beneficent force. I trace the historicalorigins of this concept and demonstrate that itoperates today in the discipline of populationecology. Although it might be suspected thatthis metaphor is a pre-theoretic description ofthe more precisely defined notion ofequilibrium, I demonstrate that balance ofnature has constricted the meaning ofmathematical equilibrium in population ecology.As well as influencing the meaning ofequilibrium, the metaphor has also loaded themathematical term with values.Environmentalists (...)
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  7. Kevin deLaplante, Bryson Brown & Kent A. Peacock (eds.) (2011). Philosophy of Ecology. North-Holland.
    The most pressing problems facing humanity today - over-population, energy shortages, climate change, soil erosion, species extinctions, the risk of epidemic disease, the threat of warfare that could destroy all the hard-won gains of civilization, and even the recent fibrillations of the stock market - are all ecological or have a large ecological component. in this volume philosophers turn their attention to understanding the science of ecology and its huge implications for the human project. To get the application of ecology (...)
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  8. Denise E. Dollimore (forthcoming). Untangling the Conceptual Issues Raised in Reydon and Scholz's Critique of Organizational Ecology and Darwinian Populations. Philosophy of the Social Sciences:0048393113481066.
    Reydon and Scholz raise doubts about the Darwinian status of organizational ecology by arguing that Darwinian principles are not applicable to organizational populations. Although their critique of organizational ecology’s typological essentialism is correct, they go on to reject the Darwinian status of organizational populations. This paper claims that the replicator-interactor distinction raised in modern philosophy of biology but overlooked for discussion by Reydon and Scholz provides a way forward. It is possible to conceptualize evolving Darwinian populations providing that the inheritance (...)
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  9. John M. Drake (2004). Lande, R., S. Engen and B.-E. Sæther (2003). Stochastic Population Dynamics in Ecology and Conservation. Acta Biotheoretica 52 (3).
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  10. Frank N. Egerton (1968). Studies of Animal Populations From Lamarck to Darwin. Journal of the History of Biology 1 (2):225 - 259.
    Darwin's theory of evolution brought to an end the static view of nature. It was no longer possible to think of species as immortal, with secure places in nature. Fluctuation of population could no longer be thought of as occurring within definite limits which had been set at the time of creation. Nor was it any longer possible to generalize from the differential reproductive potentials, or from a few cases of mutualism between species, that everything in nature was “fitted to (...)
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  11. Peter Gildenhuys (2012). Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):192-195.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 90, Issue 1, Page 192-195, March 2012.
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  12. Lev Ginzburg & Mark Colyvan, Ecological Orbits: How Planets Move and Populations Grow.
    The main focus of the book is the presentation of the 'inertial' view of population growth. This view provides a rather simple model for complex population dynamics, and is achieved at the level of the single species without invoking species interactions. An important part of this account is the maternal effect. Investment of mothers in the quality of their daughters makes the rate of reproduction of the current generation depend not only on the current environment, but also on the environment (...)
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  13. Johan Grasman, Willem B. E. Van Deventer & Vincent van Laar (2012). Estimation of Parameters in a Bertalanffy Type of Temperature Dependent Growth Model Using Data on Juvenile Stone Loach (Barbatula Barbatula). Acta Biotheoretica 60 (4):393-405.
    Parameters of a Bertalanffy type of temperature dependent growth model are fitted using data from a population of stone loach ( Barbatula barbatula ). Over two periods respectively in 1990 and 2010 length data of this population has been collected at a lowland stream in the central part of the Netherlands. The estimation of the maximum length of a fully grown individual is given special attention because it is in fact found as the result of an extrapolation over a large (...)
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  14. Hans-Rolf Gregorius (1996). Differentiation Between Populations and its Measurement. Acta Biotheoretica 44 (1).
    When applied to a family of sets, the term differentiation designates a measure of the totality of those members which appear in only one of the sets. This basic set theoretic concept involves the formation of intersections, unions, and complements of sets. However, populations as special kinds of sets may share types, but they do not share the carriers of these types; intersections of different populations are thus always empty. The resulting conceptual dilemma is resolved by considering the joint representation (...)
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  15. Christian Haak (2002). The History of Models. Does It Matter? Mind and Society 3 (1):33-41.
    This paper investigates the justification of the concept of a balance of nature in population ecology as a case of model based reasoning. The ecologist A.J. Nicholson understood balance as an outcome of intraspecific competition in populations. His models implied density dependent growth of populations oscillating around an equilibrium state. Today the assumption of density dependence is tested statistically by using models that represent certain data dynamics. This however, does not test for density dependence in the sense suggested by Nicholson. (...)
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  16. Alan Hastings (2011). Single Species Population Dynamics and its Theoretical Underpinnings. In Samuel M. Scheiner & Michael R. Willig (eds.), The Theory of Ecology. The University of Chicago Press. 109.
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  17. Christoph Hauert, Arne Traulsen, Hannelore Brandt, Martin A. Nowak & Karl Sigmund (2008). Public Goods with Punishment and Abstaining in Finite and Infinite Populations. Biological Theory 3 (2):114.
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  18. Moulay Lhassan Hbid (forthcoming). Individual Based Model for Grouper Populations. Acta Biotheoretica.
    Dusky groupers ( Epinephelus marginatus ) are characterized by a complex sex allocation strategies and overexploitation of bigger individuals. We developed an individual based model to investigate the long-term effects of density dependence on grouper population dynamics and to analyze the variabilities of extinction probabilities as a result of interacting mortalities at different life stages. We conduct several simulations with different forms of sex allocation functions and different combinations of mortality rates. The model was parametrized using data on dusky grouper (...)
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  19. Rob Hengeveld (2002). Methodology Going Astray in Population Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (2).
    This paper analyses the broad methodological structure of population-biological theorising. In it, I show that the distinction between initial exploratory, hypothesis-generating research and the subsequent process-reconstructing, hypothesis-testing type of research is not being made. Rather, the hypotheses generated in population biology are elaborated in such detail that students confound the initial research phase with the subsequent hypotheses-testing phase of research. In this context, I therefore analyse some testing procedures within the exploration phase and show that, as an extreme form of (...)
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  20. Marc Jarry, Mohamed Khaladi, Martine Hossaert-McKey & Doyle McKey (1995). Modeling the Population Dynamics of Annual Plants with Seed Bank and Density Dependent Effects. Acta Biotheoretica 43 (1-2).
    A model is proposed for the population dynamics of an annual plant (Sesbania vesicaria) with a seed bank (i.e. in which a proportion of seeds remain dormant for at least one year). A simple linear matrix model is deduced from the life cycle graph. The dominant eigenvalue of the projection matrix is estimated from demographic parameters derived from field studies. The estimated values for population growth rate () indicates that the study population should be experiencing a rapid exponential increase, but (...)
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  21. Mohamed Khaladi, Jean-Dominique Lebreton & Abdelaziz Khermjioui (forthcoming). The Evolution of Dispersal in Random Environment. Acta Biotheoretica.
    Abstract In this paper we introduce a stochastic model for a population living and migrating between s sites without distinction in the states between residents and immigrants. The evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) is characterized by the maximization of a stochastic growth rate. We obtain that the expectation of reproductive values, normalized by some random quantity, are constant on all sites and that the expectation of the normalized vector population structure is proportional to eigenvector of the dispersion matrix associated to eigenvalue (...)
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  22. Sharon E. Kingsland (1986). Mathematical Figments, Biological Facts: Population Ecology in the Thirties. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 19 (2):235 - 256.
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  23. Chris Klok, Remko Holtkamp, Rob van Apeldoorn, Marcel E. Visser & Lia Hemerik (2006). Analysing Population Numbers of the House Sparrow in the Netherlands with a Matrix Model and Suggestions for Conservation Measures. Acta Biotheoretica 54 (3).
    The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), formerly a common bird species, has shown a rapid decline in Western Europe over recent decades. In The Netherlands, its decline is apparent from 1990 onwards. Many causes for this decline have been suggested that all decrease the vital rates, i.e. survival and reproduction, but their actual impact remains unknown. Although the House Sparrow has been dominant in The Netherlands, data on life history characteristics for this bird species are scarce: data on reproduction are non-existent, (...)
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  24. Abdesslam Boutayeb Mansour Serghini, Najib Charouki Pierre Auger, Omar Ettahiri Azeddine Ramzi & Maurice Tchuente (2009). Multiregional Periodic Matrix for Modeling the Population Dynamics of Sardine ( Sardina Pilchardus ) Along the Moroccan Atlantic Coast: Management Elements for Fisheries. Acta Biotheoretica 57 (4).
    In this paper, we present a deterministic time discrete mathematical model based on multiregional periodic matrices to describe the dynamics of Sardina pilchardus in the Central Atlantic area of the Moroccan coast. This model deals with two stages (immature and mature) and three spatial zones where sardines are supposed to migrate from one zone to another. The population dynamics is described by an autonomous recurrence equation N ( t + 1) = A . N ( t ), where A is (...)
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  25. John Matthewson (2011). Trade-Offs in Model-Building: A More Target-Oriented Approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):324-333.
    In his 1966 paper "The Strategy of model-building in Population Biology", Richard Levins argues that no single model in population biology can be maximally realistic, precise and general at the same time. This is because these desirable model properties trade-off against one another. Recently, philosophers have developed Levins' claims, arguing that trade-offs between these desiderata are generated by practical limitations on scientists, or due to formal aspects of models and how they represent the world. However this project is not complete. (...)
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  26. Roberta L. Millstein (2013). Exploring the Status of Population Genetics: The Role of Ecology. Biological Theory 7 (4):346-357.
    The status of population genetics has become hotly debated among biologists and philosophers of biology. Many seem to view population genetics as relatively unchanged since the Modern Synthesis and have argued that subjects such as development were left out of the Synthesis. Some have called for an extended evolutionary synthesis or for recognizing the insignificance of population genetics. Yet others such as Michael Lynch have defended population genetics, declaring "nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of population genetics" (...)
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  27. Roberta L. Millstein (2010). The Concepts of Population and Metapopulation in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. In M. A. Bell, D. J. Futuyma, W. F. Eanes & J. S. Levinton (eds.), Evolution Since Darwin: The First 150 Years. Sinauer.
    This paper aims to illustrate one of the primary goals of the philosophy of biology⎯namely, the examination of central concepts in biological theory and practice⎯through an analysis of the concepts of population and metapopulation in evolutionary biology and ecology. I will first provide a brief background for my analysis, followed by a characterization of my proposed concepts: the causal interactionist concepts of population and metapopulation. I will then illustrate how the concepts apply to six cases that differ in their population (...)
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  28. Bertram G. Murray (2011). What Were They Thinking?: Is Population Ecology a Science?: Papers, Critiques, Rebuttals and Philosophy. Infinity Publishing.
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  29. Jay Odenbaugh, The “Structure” of Population Ecology: Philosophical Reflections on Unstructured and Structured Models.
    In 1974, John Maynard Smith wrote in his little book Models in Ecology, A theory of ecology must make statements about ecosystems as a whole, as well as about particular species at particular times, and it must make statements that are true for many species and not just for one… For the discovery of general ideas in ecology, therefore, different kinds of mathematical description, which may be called models, are called for. Whereas a good simulation should include as much detail (...)
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  30. Jay Odenbaugh (2003). Complex Systems, Trade‐Offs, and Theoretical Population Biology: Richard Levin's “Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology” Revisited. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1496-1507.
    Ecologist Richard Levins argues population biologists must trade‐off the generality, realism, and precision of their models since biological systems are complex and our limitations are severe. Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober argue that there are cases where these model properties cannot be varied independently of one another. If this is correct, then Levins's thesis that there is a necessary trade‐off between generality, precision, and realism in mathematical models in biology is false. I argue that Orzack and Sober's arguments fail since (...)
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  31. Jay Odenbaugh (2003). Complex Systems, Trade-Offs, and Theoretical Population Biology: Richard Levin's "Strategy of Model Building in Population Biology" Revisited. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1496-1507.
    Ecologist Richard Levins (1966, 1968) argues population biologists must trade-off the generality, realism and precision of their models since biological systems are complex and our limitations are severe. Elliott Sober and Steven Orzack (1993) argue that there are cases where these model properties cannot be varied independently of one another. If this is correct, then Levins` thesis that there is a necessary trade-off between generality, precision, and realism in mathematical models in biology is false. I argue that Sober and Orzack`s (...)
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  32. Kent Peacock, Why Malthus Was Wrong.
    There are a lot of expressions of pessimism these days about whether we can save the environment — and thereby ourselves. Some of this pessimism is self-serving, but most of it is quite genuine. People look at the trends, and they despair — or else go into denial. And those who despair will almost invariably point to one factor above all others — the threat of overpopulation. No matter whether we recycle all our waste, switch entirely to non-polluting energy sources, (...)
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  33. Manfred A. Pfeifer, Klaus Henle & Josef Settele (2007). Populations with Explicit Borders in Space and Time: Concept, Terminology, and Estimation of Characteristic Parameters. Acta Biotheoretica 55 (4).
    Biologists studying short-lived organisms have become aware of the need to recognize an explicit temporal extend of a population over a considerable time. In this article we outline the concept and the realm of populations with explicit spatial and temporary boundaries. We call such populations “temporally bounded populations”. In the concept, time is of the same importance as space in terms of a dimension to which a population is restricted. Two parameters not available for populations that are only spatially defined (...)
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  34. Massimo Pigliucci (2009). Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (8).
    Ever since the publication of Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, a book for the lay reader that popularized the ideas of influential evolutionary biologists like William Hamilton and George Williams, there has been much discussion of so-called "universal Darwinism". Dawkins' dual aim was to reduce evolutionary phenomena to the level of the gene, while at the same time abstracting the Darwinian process of natural selection of "replicators" and making it into something that would apply beyond the domain of biology.
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  35. Andrew J. Pyle (1987). Animal Generation and the Mechanical Philosophy: Some Light on the Role of Biology in the Scientific Revolution. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 9 (2):225 - 254.
    In a recent paper, Keith Hutchison has advanced the thesis that the Mechanical Philosophy represents a shift towards supernaturalism in our conception of the physical world. This paper concentrates on one of the great problems of seventeenth-century biological theory — animal generation — to illustrate (and modify) Hutchison's thesis, thereby also serving to locate one role of the life sciences in the Scientific Revolution. This choice of focus enables us to draw heavily on Jacques Roger's seminal work on animal generation (...)
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  36. Jonathan Rault, Eric Benoît & Jean-Luc Gouzé (forthcoming). Stabilizing Effect of Cannibalism in a Two Stages Population Model. Acta Biotheoretica.
    In this paper we build a prey–predator model with discrete weight structure for the predator. This model will conserve the number of individuals and the biomass and both growth and reproduction of the predator will depend on the food ingested. Moreover the model allows cannibalism which means that the predator can eat the prey but also other predators. We will focus on a simple version with two weight classes or stage (larvae and adults) and present some general mathematical results. In (...)
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  37. Peter Richerson, Homage to Malthus, Ricardo, and Boserup: Toward a General Theory of Population, Economic Growth, Environmental Deterioration, Wealth, and Poverty.
    The debates over the future of human population and the earth’s environment, and similar large issues, usually take place without reference to explicit models. Debate would be clarified if such models were employed. We propose that the logistic equation and its extensions like the generalized logistic and the Lotka-Volterra equations, so familiar to ecologists, can easily be modified to model the important "macro" questions that motivated the three thinkers of our title. The long term rate of population growth must normally (...)
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  38. Luis Sanz & Rafael Bravo de la Parra (2002). The Reliability of Approximate Reduction Techniques in Population Models with Two Time Scales. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (4).
    As a result of the complexity inherent in some natural systems, mathematical models employed in ecology are often governed by a large number of variables. For instance, in the study of population dynamics we often find multiregional models for structured populations in which individuals are classified regarding their age and their spatial location. Dealing with such structured populations leads to high dimensional models. Moreover, in many instances the dynamics of the system is controlled by processes whose time scales are very (...)
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  39. Markus Scholz & Thomas A. C. Reydon (2008). The Population Ecology Programme in Organisation Studies. Philosophy of Management 6 (3):39-51.
    Economics and social sciences in general have a long tradition of using theories, models, concepts, and so forth borrowed from the natural sciences to describe and explain the properties and behaviours of economic and social entities. However, unwarranted application of theoretical elements from the natural sciences in the economic/social domain can have adverse consequences for organisations, their employees and society in general. Focusing on biology and organisation studies, we discuss the general problems that may arise when theoretical elements from natural (...)
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  40. Kristin Shrader-Frechette (1994). Ecological Explanation and the Population-Growth Thesis. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:34 - 45.
    Many ecologists have dismissed alleged ecological laws as tautological or trivial. This essay investigates the epistemological status of one prominent such "law," the population-growth thesis, and argues for 4 claims: (1) Once interpreted, the thesis cannot be denied the status of empirical law on the grounds that it is always and everywhere untestable. (2) Contrary to Peters' (1991) claim, some interpretations of the thesis have significant heuristic power. (3) One can use the reasoning of Brandon (1990), Lloyd (1987), and Sober (...)
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  41. Jacob Stegenga (2010). Population is Not a Natural Kind of Kinds. Biological Theory 5 (2):154-160.
    Millstein (2009) argues against conceptual pluralism with respect to the definition of “population,” and proposes her own definition of the term. I challenge both Millstein's negative arguments against conceptual pluralism and her positive proposal for a singular definition of population. The concept of population, I argue, does not refer to a natural kind; populations are constructs of biologists variably defined by contexts of inquiry.
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  42. Michael Strevens (2003). Bigger Than Chaos: Understanding Complexity Through Probability. Harvard University Press.
    In this book, Michael Strevens aims to explain how simplicity can coexist with, indeed be caused by, the tangled interconnections between a complex system's ...
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  43. Bartlomiej Swiatczak (2013). Immune Balance: The Development of the Idea and its Applications. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology:1-32.
    It has long been taken for granted that the immune system’s capacity to protect an individual from infection and disease depends on the power of the system to distinguish between self and nonself. However, accumulating data have undermined this fundamental concept. Evidence against the self/nonself discrimination model left researchers in need of a new overarching framework able to capture the immune system’s reactivity. Here, I highlight that along with the self/nonself model, another powerful representation of the immune system’s reactivity has (...)
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  44. Stanley J. Ulijaszek (1991). Population Ecology of Human Survival. Edited by R. Ohtsuka & T. Suzuki, Pp. 265. (University of Tokyo Press, 1990.). Journal of Biosocial Science 23 (2):251-252.
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  45. B. Ts Urlani (1974). The "Population Explosion" and Its Ecological Consequences. Russian Studies in Philosophy 13 (2):60-62.
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  46. Anne-France Viet, Christine Fourichon, Christine Jacob, Chantal Guihenneuc-Jouyaux & Henri Seegers (2006). Approach for Qualitative Validation Using Aggregated Data for a Stochastic Simulation Model of the Spread of the Bovine Viral-Diarrhoea Virus in a Dairy Cattle Herd. Acta Biotheoretica 54 (3).
    Qualitative validation consists in showing that a model is able to mimic available observed data. In population level biological models, the available data frequently represent a group status, such as pool testing, rather than the individual statuses. They are aggregated. Our objective was to explore an approach for qualitative validation of a model with aggregated data and to apply it to validate a stochastic model simulating the bovine viral-diarrhoea virus (BVDV) spread within a dairy cattle herd. Repeated measures of the (...)
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  47. A. D. Voûte (1943). Classification of Factors Influencing the Natural Growth of a Population of Insects. Acta Biotheoretica 7 (1-2).
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  48. J. Westenberg (1960). An Analysis of Persistence in Population Systems. Acta Biotheoretica 13 (4).
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  49. Hubert Wilbert (1970). Cybernetic Concepts in Population Dynamics. Acta Biotheoretica 19 (2).
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  50. Lars Witting (2000). Interference Competition Set Limits to the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection. Acta Biotheoretica 48 (2).
    The relationship between Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection and the ecological environment of density regulation is examined. Using a linear model, it is shown that the theorem holds when density regulation is caused by exploitative competition and that the theorem fails with interference competition. In the latter case the theorem holds only at the limit of zero population density and/or at the limit where the competitively superior individuals cannot monopolise the resource. The results are discussed in relation to population (...)
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