Graduate studies at Western
Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):481-506 (2001)
|Abstract||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. Why this tendency to settle on conceptual grounds what is soobviously an empirical issue? Are there any good conceptual arguments tobe had in this area?|
|Keywords||a priori argument abiotic factors balance of nature biotic factors competition density dependence equilibrium non-equilibrium paradigm population regulation random walk statistical return tendency|
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