Patten has developed a series of 'ecological network properties' which summarize the results of environ analysis. The properties have been used to assess the current state of ecosystem networks and to compare the state of different networks. Furthermore, while interpreting some of the properties as ecological goal functions, it has been possible to identify the structural or parametric configurations that positively affect the network property values as a way to detect or anticipate network changes. For example, certain network alterations, such as increased cycling, lead to greater total system energy throughflow and energy storage, so one could expect that if possible ecological networks are evolving or adapting to such configurations. This leads to a new area of research on evolving networks. In this section, a brief
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