ECOSYSTEMS DYNAMICS 1)2)
According to B.C. PATTEN, as quoted by A. CASELLES MONCHO and J.L. USO DOMENECH "… ecosystems dynamics in non perturbed states is approximatively linear, although its internal processes were nonlinear" (1993, p.438).
"Non perturbed" should be understood as "not much perturbed", i.e. perturbed in a limited stable range. This is the case of mature ecosystems (formerly described as climax). Moreover: "Biotic components of an ecosytem have limited resources". This explains why stable ecosystems, when seriously perturbed, may irreversibly collapse (The case for example of overexploited tropical rain forests, or overfished oceanic areas).
And: "Non perturbed dynamics is produced in a bounded range of operations… and: Operations occur in a bounded range of values" (Ibid).
This aspect has been tackled in a different way by W.R. ASHBY, who describes "equilibrial densities" and "terminal equilibrium" and uses MARKOV chains and Markovian matrixes to modelize such equilibria (1956, p.177).
Ecosystems can also undergo strong perturbations, which may put an end to their homeostasis. One case is the appearance of a mutant population that deeply affects the global equilibrium of the system. In such a case it will self-reorganize in a new way, probably at a higher level of organization.
Another case is the destruction of an important component. This may lead to a crash, i.e. to a globally lower level of organization. In many cases the introduction of an alien component may bring such a havoc: For example goats or rats and cats on formerly isolated ecosystems.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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