A strategic model of material cycling in a closed ecosystem

R.M. Nisbet, J. McKinstry, William Gurney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to reconcile the observed vulnerability of self-sustaining (materially closed) experimental ecosystems with demonstrations of virtually unconditional stability in mathematical models incorporating material recycling. We prove deterministic local stability in a generalized version of a model previously investigated by two of us (Nisbet and Gurney), but show that, except with rather narrowly specified parameter values, the system is likely to be extremely sensitive to external perturbations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-113
Number of pages15
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1983


  • experimental ecosystems
  • unconditional stability
  • local stability


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