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Do Strange Attractors Govern Ecological Systems?
W. M. Schaffer and M. Kot
Vol. 35, No. 6 (Jun., 1985), pp. 342-350
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1309902
Page Count: 9
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One of the fundamental problems in ecology is understanding the ragged ups and downs in abundance that characterize many natural populations. Recent advances in nonlinear dynamics suggest that even the "noisiest" variation may have its origin in simple deterministic mechanisms. Here we review both the theory and the evidence and conclude that "strange" attractors, the chaotic counterparts to equilibria and limit cycles, may play an important role in ecological systems.
BioScience © 1985 American Institute of Biological Sciences