III. Ecosmos: A Revolutionary Fertile, Habitable, Solar-Bioplanet Incubator Lifescape
4. Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere as Complex, Network Systems
Van de Koppel, Johan, et al. The Influence of Local- and Landscape-scale Processes on Spatial Self-Organization in Estuarine Ecosystems. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215/962, 2012. As the Abstract details, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Center for Estuarine and Marine Ecology, researchers show how generic complex dynamical phenomena well apply across diverse varieties of biotic environments. A natural universality is ever found to be wider and deeper in our organic genesis universe.
Complexity theory proposes that spatial self-organization, the process whereby small-scale, localized interactions among the components of a system generate complex spatial structures at large spatial scales, explains the formation of autogenic spatial patterns in ecosystems. We question this premise by reviewing three estuarine ecosystems – mussel beds, mudflats and salt marshes – where self-organization has been put forward to explain spatial patterns. Our review highlights that these self-organized estuarine systems are shaped by the combination of small-scale interactions between ecological and physical processes on the one hand, and large-scale physical forcing on the other. More specifically, local interactions generate patchiness at small spatial scales, whereas landscape forcing determines the shape and orientation of these patches in the landscape. We present a framework that illustrates how self-organized ecosystems are shaped by interactions between organisms and physical processes occurring at multiple spatial scales. (Summary)
Wang, Yifeng, et al. Self-Organized Iron-Oxide Cementation Geometry as an Indicator of Paleo-Flows. Nature Scientific Reports. 5/10792, 2015. As a worldwise personsphere proceeds to learn on its bicameral own, Wang, Sandia Laboratories, Marjorie Chan, University of Utah, and Enrique Merino, Indiana University describe a nonlinear natural geology and then apply it over the temporal eons to inform our 21st century self-reconstruction.
Widespread iron oxide precipitation from groundwater in fine-grained red beds displays various patterns, including nodulation, banding and scallops and fingers. Hematite nodules have been reported also from the Meridiani Planum site on Mars and interpreted as evidence for the ancient presence of water on the red planet. Here we show that such patterns can autonomously emerge from a previously unrecognized Ostwald ripening mechanism and they capture rich information regarding ancient chemical and hydrologic environments. A linear instability analysis of the reaction-transport equations suggests that a pattern transition from nodules to bands may result from a symmetry breaking of mineral dissolution and precipitation triggered by groundwater advection. Round nodules tend to develop under nearly stagnant hydrologic conditions, while repetitive bands form in the presence of persistent water flows. Since water circulation is a prerequisite for a sustainable subsurface life, a Martian site with iron oxide precipitation bands, if one were found, may offer a better chance for detecting extraterrestrial biosignatures on Mars than would sites with nodules. (Abstract)
Watkins, Nicholas and Mervyn Freeman. Natural Complexity. Science. 320/323, 2008. Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey seek a revised Earth Systems Science which abides in and springs from a dynamically creative, self-similar network nature.
One such avenue is based on the science of complexity, which describes systems with many strongly interacting parts, concentrating on how the parts connect. A particularly influential strand of complexity science unites two ideas: universality (a given property arises in different complex systems) and emergence (complex behaviors arise from simple interaction rules. (323)
Werner, B. T. Complexity in Natural Landform Patterns. Science. 284/102, 1999. The standard reductionist methods are no longer suitable; therefore: An alternative modeling methodology based on the tendency of natural systems to self-organize in temporal hierarchies is described. (102)
Werner, Brad and Dylan McNamara. Dynamics of Coupled Human-Landscape Systems. Geomorphology. 91/393, 2007. From an issue on Complexity in Geomorphology, (see Preface by Murray and Fonstad above) University of California, San Diego geophysicists explain how both diverse land forms and persons in societies are distinguished by the same nonlinear, hierarchical phenomena. Circa 2010 might we at last realize that the very ground we walk upon is a natural scripture, with the same chapter and verse being repeated in our individual and communal lives?
A preliminary dynamical analysis of landscapes and humans as hierarchical complex systems suggests that strong coupling between the two that spreads to become regionally or globally pervasive should be focused at multi-year to decadal time scales. At these scales, landscape dynamics is dominated by water, sediment and biological routing mediated by fluvial, oceanic, atmospheric processes and human dynamics is dominated by simplifying, profit-maximizing market forces and political action based on projection of economic effect. (393) Based on this analysis, human-landscape coupled systems can be modeled using heterogeneous agents employing prediction models to determine actions to represent the nonlinear behavior of economic and political systems and rule-based routing algorithms to represent landscape processes. (393)