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Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems$
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Peter Petraitis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199569342.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

Four common misconceptions

Four common misconceptions

(p.112) (p.113) 8 Four common misconceptions
Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems

Peter Petraitis

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a detailed explanation on the common misconceptions that occur when ecologists discuss the characteristics of multiple stable states in the natural ecosystem. These four have been repeatedly stated in many literatures that study multiple stable states, but they are considered false. The misconceptions are: thresholds are always part of systems with multiple stable states; multiple stable states are central to the state-and-transition concept; in the cup and ball model, the landscape is defined by parameters and the position of the ball by state variables; and characteristics of species and the environment predispose ecosystems to have multiple states. This chapter aims to shed light on these issues by clarifying the incongruity of these misconceptions to the multiple stable states.

Keywords:   misconceptions, multiple stable states, ecosystems, state-and-transition concept, ball model

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