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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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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Ecosystem Concept in Biology

The Ecosystem Concept in Biology

(p.51) Four The Ecosystem Concept in Biology
The Structure and Dynamics of Human Ecosystems

William R. Burch Jr.

Gary E. Machlis

Jo Ellen Force

Yale University Press

This chapter analyzes the genealogy of the Human Ecosystem Model (HEM), which includes portions of ecosystem biology and the roots of human ecology. The initial and repeated efforts at taxonomy (identification of component parts) were followed by efforts to understand processes (identification and measurement of flows) as well as issues of agency, efficacy, and evolutionary change. All are foundations for understanding the structure and dynamics of human ecosystems. Studies of the patterns and processes in ecosystems emphasize the diversity and complexity of the elements affecting these systems. This complexity has generally enabled biologists to exclude human behavior from their models and social scientists to remain largely at the level of metaphor when applying ecological concepts to human behavior.

Keywords:   Human Ecosystem Model, ecosystem biology, human ecology, taxonomy, evolutionary change, diversity, human behaviour, social scientists

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