Conclusions

As evident throughout this chapter, ecosystems are networks of interacting biota and abiota. Rigorous methodological tools such as input-output analysis and ecological network analysis have been developed to deal with this complexity. As more and more applications of systems and network analyses arise, it is important to remember the common methodological roots of the approaches. In fact, because of its basic assumption about objects connected together as part of a larger system, which is used in several disciplines, the most promising application of network analysis may be as a platform for integrated environmental assessment models to address sustainability issues of combined human-natural systems.

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