at the moment i’m too lazy/busy to figure out how to put this directly into the blog post, so here is a link:


it is a pdf about things and relationships that some of you may have heard me talk about a while ago.

Re: the five things slide, just trust me on the 45 meta-relationships. i didn’t draw them because it would’ve taken forever and looked like a beautiful mess.

as for what is a meta-relationship, imagine you and a friend are fighting. the nature of your relationship, in a simplified sense, would be negative. the fact that the relationship between you and that friend is negative may have an impact on your relationship with a different friend. in other words, one relationship is interacting with another relationship, which basically means that there is a relationship between the relationships. (yo dawg).

if you want a more ecosystem-relevant example, here is the simplified way i think about it:

Let’s say you have this situation:

species A +/- species B -/- species C

This suggests that species A is predating or parasitizing species B (species A benefits + and species B loses -) and that species B and species C are competing (both lose -)

Let’s say something changes in the environment to shift the relationship between species A and species B so that species A is taking less and perhaps even giving away some resources, such that it becomes a mutualism (+/+). Now species B is doing better, which means it may not be affected by species C. Depending on the weights of interactions, the relationship between species B and species C could turn into 0/- (species B is unaffected but species C is still losing out) or 0/0 (they aren’t competing or helping each other). There are a lot of possible scenarios. but the point is, the relationship between species A and species B affected the relationship between species B and species C.

If it’s hard to picture this without tangible species, imagine species A is a mycorrhizal fungus, species B is a doug-fir tree, and species C is a ponderosa pine tree. The fungus can be a mutualist or a parasite under different conditions, and the competition between the doug-fir and ponderosa pine might shift weight depending on the doug-fir to fungus relationship. Yay meta-relationships!



…why is the font bigger on this post? ah the mysteries of wordpress…

~ by academicadventurer on October 17, 2012.

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