Ecology, maybe more than any other discipline, offers some insight as to how schools of thought, or paradigms, develop. The process is not necessarily chronological, with a new paradigm invariably replacing an older one. Instead, paradigms fall into and out of favor with communities of practice. In ecology, the two most relevant paradigms for understanding dryland ecosystem behavior are the equilibrium (“balance of nature”) and the nonequilibrium (“flux of nature”) models, which describe two poles between which other viewpoints are arrayed.
KeywordsArid Land Biological Soil Crust Range Management Soil Conservation Service Nonequilibrium Model
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