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The Structure and Dynamics of Human EcosystemsToward a Model for Understanding and Action$
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William R Burch, Gary E Machlis, and Jo Ellen Force

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300137033

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300137033.001.0001

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(p.267) Thirteen Conclusion
The Structure and Dynamics of Human Ecosystems

William R. Burch Jr.

Gary E. Machlis

Jo Ellen Force

Yale University Press

This concluding chapter talks about how the complexity of combining human and nonhuman elements presents an obvious challenge to one’s understanding and management of ecosystems. The usual solution for understanding such complexity is to concentrate observations on the co-variation between a limited set of variables within a limited time–space setting. Important as that approach is, the need to unify these findings and practices may be of even greater importance for meeting future challenges to human ecosystems. The chapter shares some of the lessons learned in trying to develop and apply a more unifying approach to the study of human ecosystems. It offers a template of concepts that helps in reducing information overload by not attending to all the possible and actual connections in a given system.

Keywords:   human ecosystems, nonhuman elements, complexity, co-variation, information overload

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