Bayreuther Institut für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung
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The application of the complexity theory in ecosystem research


From 01/1998 to 12/2000

Principal Investigator: Michael Hauhs
Staff: Holger Lange
Grant: 0339476 C Grundlagen zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung von Ökosystemen bei veränderter Umwelt

In the context of this project, data sets which characterize ecosystem behavior at the catchment scale are analyzed using methods from information theory and complexity theory, or nonlinear methods in general. A central topic is the limitations and possibilities to model these systems. To this end, the information and complexity content of input and output is quantified and compared, either for different variables at the same site or for similar variables across sites. A tendency can be observed towards a reduction of information content during the transfer of a signal through the system, such that information-rich, nearly random input is transformed to much smoother, information-poor output. The effect of the system from this viewpoint consists thus in a nonlinear filtering. Nonlinear methods have demonstrated ability to detect tiny differences within a single dataset or across different sites, far beyond identification of trends or periodicities. Concerning data, emphasis lies on water fluxes, hydrochemical and atmospheric variables. However, the methods are universally applicable, provided the data sets fulfill appropriate requirements w.r.t. quality in general and length in particular.

List of publications of this Project

Wolf, F: Berechnung von Information und Komplexität in Zeitreihen - Analyse des Wasserhaushaltes von bewaldeten Einzugsgebieten in Bayreuther Institut für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung (BITÖK): Bayreuther Forum Ökologie, Selbstverlag, 65, 1-164 (1999) -- Details
Lange, H: Charakterisierung ökosystemarer Zeitreihen mit nichtlinearen Methoden in Bayreuther Institut für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung (BITÖK): Bayreuther Forum Ökologie, Selbstverlag, 70, 1-108 (1999) -- Details
Lange, H: Are Ecosystems Dynamical Systems?, International Journal of Computing Anticipatory System, 3, 169-186 (1999) -- Details
Hauhs, M; Lischeid, G; Lange, H: Auswertung von forsthydrologischen Monitoringdaten, Stoffhaushalt von Waldökosystemen, 7, 11-18 (1999) -- Details
Klemm, O; Lange, H: Trends of Air Pollution in the Fichtelgebirge Mountains, Bavaria, Environmental Science & Pollution Research, 6, 193-199 (1999), doi:10.1007/BF02987325 -- Details
Lange, H; Lischeid, G; Hauhs, M: Complexity analysis of time series from two headwater catchments in South Germany in European Academy, Bozen: Hydrology, Water Resources and Ecology of Mountain Areas, Tappeiner, U; Ruffini, FV; Fumai, M, 103-106 (1998)
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