Ecosystem control theory

Bruce Hannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The flow accounting approach is reviewed for ecosystems and expanded to a linear dynamic description. The resulting differential equations are unstable. If they are to accurately model real ecosystems, the mechanisms of stabilization must be found. Two general stabilizing schemes are discussed and applied to an oyster reef ecosystem. The first is the anticipatory control process where the system is prepared (prepares) in advance of some known external future change. The second is the reactionary or feedback control where the ecosystem is seen as taking the appropriate stabilizing steps after an unexpected external change is made. Feedback controls are used in two specific ways to stabilize the oyster reef system. The means to test the applicability of the linear dynamic approach is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-437
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 21 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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