Biotic Regulation: News Archive 2004
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Sun, 24 Oct

Li B.-L., Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M. (2004) Energy partitioning between different-sized organisms and ecosystem stability. Ecology, 85(7), 1811-1813. full text (PDF, 60 Kb).


Tue, 6 Jul

Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G., Li B.-L. (2004) Body size, energy consumption and allometric scaling: a new dimension in the diversity-stability debate. Ecological Complexity, 1(2), 139-175. Abstract, full text (PDF, 374 Kb). According to the biotic regulation theory, natural ecological communities are organized such as to ensure maximum possible stability of their environment. In this paper it is shown that this principle allows to quantitatively predict patterns of energy partitioning among differently-sized organisms in stable ecosystems. It is shown that in stable ecosystems large animals are allowed to consume no more than 1% of primary production. In the modern biosphere man has exceeded this ecological quota by ten times.
Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G., Li B.-L. (2004) Ontogenetic growth: models and theory. Ecological Modelling, 176, 15-26. Abstract, full text (PDF, 260 Kb). Modelling is widely spread in modern natural science. Models differ from theories in that they include immeasurable parameters and unknown dependencies between measurable variables. These dependencies have therefore to be postulated, which is commonly done by fitting the model to the available empirical data. Thus, models are in their essence equivalent to tabulations of relevant data having zero predictive power. The modelling approach where the search for fundamental natural regularities is replaced by formal fitting and computer simulations represents a serious, if not deadly, disease of modern natural science. In this paper we illustrate the above statements on the example of a popular ontogenetic growth model, which, among other things, violates the energy conservation law.
Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G. (2004) On the dependence of speciation rates on species abundance and characteristic population size. Journal of Biosciences, 29(1), 119-128. Abstract, full text (PDF, 108 Kb). One of the widely spread postulates of modern biology is the statement that the driving force of evolution is the adaptation of biological species to changing environmental conditions. This statement contradicts the biotic regulation theory. If it were true, one could expect that species consisting of many individuals (e.g. bacteria with characteristic population density of a million per cubic millilitre) would evolve faster than species with a small number of individuals (e.g. mammals, 1 ind. per square km). In simple words, it seems easier to find an organism well fitted to a new environment if you choose among billions, rather than among a few, individuals. It is easy to calculate that the rate of speciation would differ by ten and more orders of magnitude among small numerous and large non-numerous organisms.
In this paper we analyze the available empirical data to show that in reality all organisms speciate at approximately the same rate, the mean time of species duration being of the order of several million years, be that a unicell or vertebrate species. This confirms the biotic regulation statement that evolution cannot be caused by changes of the environment, the latter being itself under control of the biota.
To learn more about the significance of this paper to the biotic regulation concept read Chapter 11 of Gorshkov et al. (2000) Biotic regulation of the environment.



Sun, 29 Feb

Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G., Li B.-L., Losev K.S. (2004) The Upper and Lower Ecological Limits of Specific Metabolic Power of Different Organisms. Russian Journal of Ecology, 35(1), 10-15. Abstract, full text (PDF, 420 Kb). This paper continues a series of publications, started by Makarieva, Gorshkov, and Li (2003) and to be be continued by several papers currently in press and under preparation. The ultimate goal of these papers is to introduce the notions of universal maximum, minimum and optimum specific metabolic rates and to show their fundamental implications for the organization of ecological communities performing biotic regulation (Gorshkov, 1981). To learn more about this aspect of the biotic regulation studies read Chapters 1, 3 and 4 of Gorshkov et al. (2000) Biotic regulation of the environment.
Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.V. (2004) Revising the fundamentals of ecological knowledge: the biota-environment interaction. Ecological Complexity, 1(1), 17-36. Abstract, full text (PDF, 320 Kb). This publication summarizes our current understanding of the biotic regulation concept and its relevance to global ecological problems.
They are looking at us
Face-to-face with Lizard, Cricket, Little Skua and Toad. Nature images presented at this website have been recently included into the GOOGLE's database. Immeadiately we noticed considerable interest in the images, manifested in high rates of download. This gives us a pleasant impetus to further develop this aesthetic feature of our website. However, we note, here and elsewhere, that the biotic regulation concept justifies the urgent necessity to conserve undisturbed ecosystems on a planetary scale on the basis of strictly pragmatic reasoning backed up by quantitative arguments. Whatever our personal subjective attitude to nature (admiration, love, rejection, indifference, ignorance etc.), the existence of globally important territories occupied by undisturbed ecosystems is an objective and indispensable condition of the personal survival of every human being and his or her direct offspring.

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Main page in English Russian version of current document   Updated 24 October 2004.