Kategoria: Nauki przyrodnicze / Biologia

Ecological Questions. An International Journal on Controversial Problems of Ecology. 3/2003

autorzy: Marian Rejewski redaktorzy: Marian Rejewski
Rok wydania:2003 Liczba stron:168 Format:210 x 297 mm

The preview of Ecological Questions journal
Disturbances, gradients and flows are phenomena that have aroused interest in ecologists for years. They proceed in various scales, have different causes and results, and yet they are always connected with movement and changes that take place in ecological systems. The publications included in the third issue of Ecological Questions aimed at defining the notion of disturbances and at discussing this kind of phenomena, both those conspicuous - usually allogenic and those smaller - autogenic phenomena, which very often have equally important ecological and evolutionary consequences. Those disturbances can be monitored with different methods: from remote sensing, through field works, to direct observations in a laboratory or a greenhouse. In the publications presented in the current issue of EQ, they are analysed mainly on the base of data sets collected during field works. The role of environmental gradients (also those existing within the sociosphere) in creation of disturbances and removing their results are discussed in the papers. The authors put special emphasis on the gradients existing in the landscape modified by human economic activities. Particular papers present not only structural changes but also functioning of ecological systems of various time and space scale, expressed by energy flow and matter circulation. Most of the authors presented disturbances, gradients and flows only from the point of view of the classical vegetation science. However, the intention of some authors was to analyse the described by them ecological structures in the aspect of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. In the discussion they tried to answer three questions: to what degree disturbances at different levels of biosphere organization could be considered as fluctuations, gradients - as thermodynamic potentials, and processes of energy flows and matter circulation - as coupled flows, which lead to structural alteration, formation of stabile steady states and dissipative structures, and consequently to realization of self-organization process. Energetistic analyses presented by other authors were conducted in the aspect of so-called embodied solar energy, i.e. emergy, which was developed in the modem ecology by Howard T. Odum.

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