E

Conservation - mature stage

Conservation - mature stage

Reorganization

Release -

creative destruction

Exploitation - pioneer stage

Connectedness

Figure 7.6 Ecosystem succession as a function of structural and functional items.

Reorganization

Release -

creative destruction

Exploitation - pioneer stage

Connectedness

Figure 7.6 Ecosystem succession as a function of structural and functional items.

Figure 7.7 Adaptive cycle after Holling, from Gundersson and Holling (2002).

Connectedness

Figure 7.8 Developmental opportunities during the successional cycle from Figure 7.6.

Connectedness

Figure 7.8 Developmental opportunities during the successional cycle from Figure 7.6.

is the total stored exergy, which does not rise again after creative destruction. The nutrients as well as the energetic resources do not grow after the release, but get eroded or leached, and the change of their availability is due to the activities of the organisms, which appear right after the reset of the pioneer stage.

To illustrate the risk discussion from above, Figure 7.8 shows a correlated trajectory of the developmental potential of ecosystems during the adaptive dynamics. This point shows another difference with the concept of the Resilience Alliance, due to another understanding of "potential." Originating from ecosystem theory, we can use the amount of potential trajectories (possibilities, developmental directions) of the system during the whole cycle. As has been described above, there are a high number of developmental possibilities in the beginning during the pioneer phase while thereafter the prevailing interactions are limiting the degrees of freedom and the adaptability of the system continuously. Self-organizing processes have created internal hierarchical constraints, which reduce the flexibility of the entity. Integrating Figures 7.6 and 7.8 demonstrates the dilemma of the orientor philosophy: The more complex and efficient an ecological system's performance is, the better (and more successful) its "old" adaptation to the environmental conditions has been, the lower is its adaptability against unknown environmental changes, and the higher is the system's vulnerability. Thus, a further adaptation to changing conditions is only possible on the base of a destruction of the old structures.

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