1932

Abstract

Chaos was proposed in the 1970s as an alternative explanation for apparently noisy fluctuations in population size. Although readily demonstrated in models, the search for chaos in nature proved challenging and led many to conclude that chaos is either rare or nigh impossible to detect. However, in the intervening half-century, it has become clear that ecosystems are replete with the enabling conditions for chaos. Chaos has been repeatedly demonstrated under laboratory conditions and has been found in field data using updated detection methods. Together, these developments indicate that the apparent rarity of chaos was an artifact of data limitations and overreliance on low-dimensional population models. We invite readers to reevaluate the relevance of chaos in ecology, and we suggest that chaos is not as rare or undetectable as previously believed.

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2022-11-02
2024-06-12
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