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Scale and Scaling in Ecological and Economic Systems

Jérôme Chave and Simon Levin, 2004 In: The Economics of Non-Convex Ecosystem, P. Dasgupta and K.-G. Mäler (eds.), pp. 29-59 (2004).

Abstract:

We review various aspects of the notion of scale applied to natural systems, in particular complex adaptive systems. We argue that scaling issues are not only crucial from the standpoint of basic science, but also in many applied issues, and discuss tools for detecting and dealing with multiple scales, both spatial and temporal. We also suggest that the techniques of statistical mechanics, which have been successful in describing many emergent patterns in physical systems, can also prove useful in the study of complex adaptive systems.

Keywords: criticality, ecology, economy, scale, statistical mechanics

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