chapter  1
8 Pages

Ecological patterns in time and space

Ecological systems are open systems, highly nonlinear and, hence, one has to cope with all challenges of nonlinear, nonequilibrium dynamics. The simplest growth and interaction laws are already nonlinear and, together with the variable environment, drive ecosystems away from a static equilibrium, which is meant as thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy. The dynamic or flux equilibria far from thermodynamic equilibrium are called steady states.