Unity in Ecology?An Investigation of Patterns, Problems, and Unifying Concepts of Population Ecology, Systems Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology

http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-diss000004176
https://elib.suub.uni-bremen.de/peid=D00000417
urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-diss000004176
http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-diss000004176
https://elib.suub.uni-bremen.de/peid=D00000417
urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-diss000004176
Mittwollen, Arend
Universität Bremen: Kulturwissenschaften
Dissertation
co-evolution, community, ecosystem, evolutionary ecology, population ecology, holism, law, model, reductionism, systems ecology, theory, unity
Ecology is a pluralist discipline in which I distinguish between three basic approaches according to their way of explaining. These approaches are population ecology, systems ecology and evolutionary ecology. However, I demonstrate that it is possible to unify the different theories and methods in ecology by means of evolutionary theory. There are many connections between ecology and evolution. Complex systems probably evolved via different forms of co-evolution. In case of strong co-evolution, ecological and evolutionary units can hardly be distinguished and they evolve together. It is possible to arrive at a unity of ecology by means of evolutionary explanations that increase our understanding and derive the existence of contemporary systems from simpler states of a past long ago. This form of unifying explanation does not need fundamental laws. One just needs general causal mechanisms of change like mutation and selection and some starting points from which all the investigated phenomena evolved. Nevertheless, physics is considered the paradigmatic scientific discipline providing unity by means of fundamental laws. By assuming that there are no fundamental laws in physics, the differences between the structure of physical and ecological explanation will decrease. The individual-historical aspect of ecology will as well become an important part of physics. For this reason, one should consider ecology a discipline that is nearer to nature than physics. Therefore, ecology should replace physics as the paradigmatic scientific discipline.
DDC
300
2010.02.08/11:15:08
Unity in Ecology?An Investigation of Patterns, Problems, and Unifying Concepts of Population Ecology, Systems Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology
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