Introduction

Ascendency is an indicator used to assess ecosystems' growth and development. The aim of this article is to briefly illustrate the computation of ascendency and its applications in ecology. Ascendency is made up of two contributions: one is a measure of the system's activity (size of the system) and the other pertains to the level of organization in the trophic exchanges network. The former is quantified by the total system throughput (TST), and the latter is measured by the average mutual information (AMI). By multiplying these two metrics, one obtains the ascendency of a system. In the next paragraphs, we will analyze the two components in isolation and then derive the ascendency formula.

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