Marginal product pricing in the ecosystem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Through an analogy with economics, a comparative static theory is developed for ecological systems. The basic assumption is that components of the ecosystem behave in such a way as to maximize their storage with respect to their material flows over a particular period of time. This concept leads to the theory that a biological component will adjust its marginal productivity with respect to each of its energy flows to be equal to the energy intensity (price) of that flow. The result is additional information about the relationships between energy and mass flows in the ecosystem. Equilibrium and cropping conditions are included and a connection with input-output theory is made. Example systems are developed to illustrate the theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-267
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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