Introduction

In the search for a nonmechanistical explanation of ecosystem behavior and development, Ulanowicz developed the theory of ascendency. Direct cause and effect

Ascendency Applications Further Reading mechanisms, as known from the Newtonian world, are believed not to be sufficient to describe, or predict, the behavior of ecosystems. Such mechanisms are inherently reversible and are not seen to be sufficient to explain the behavior of single components (e.g., species) within the context of the ecosystem. Ecosystems are believed to behave and evolve in a nonmechanistic fashion. The theory of ascendency tries to capture this nonmechanistic behavior in a single index, indicative of ecosystem state and development, and of ecosystem health.

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