Date of Award:

1979

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Advisor/Chair:

N/A

Abstract

The concept of regulation in ecosystems has been given considerable attention in the ecological literature, but no formal treatment has been offered. This study proposes a rigorous definition of regulation which is derived from the mathematics of information and communication theory. A theoretical, mathematical equivalent of the definition is also offered which implies serious limitations as to the value of most traditional laboratory population studies and deterministic population models in understanding regulation in ecosystems. The empirical validity of this theoretical equivalence is tested through use of a competition model of two diatoms. Other observations concerning the relationship between environmental variability and regulation are also reported.

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