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This chapter provides a primer to Systems Thinking. The core concept of natural science systems theory is that the outcome of an activity of participating entities is, by way of interactions, larger than the sum of its parts. The key components in this theoretical approach are nodes, links, and emergence. In this chapter, the building blocks of a Systems Thinking approach are articulated.
A complex system is composed of many elements that interact with each other and their environment. The term emergence is used to describe how the large-scale features of the complex system arise from interactions between the components, and these system-level features are called emergent phenomena. This chapter reviews the multidisciplinary study of complex systems in physics, biology, and social sciences. This chapter reviews three topics: first, research on how people learn how to think about complex systems; second, how learning environments themselves can be analyzed as complex systems; and finally, how the analytic methods of complexity science – such as computer modeling – can be applied to the learning sciences. The chapter summarizes challenges and future opportunities for helping students learn about complex systems and for research in the learning sciences that considers educational systems to be complex phenomena.
In this chapter, we review routine dynamics research through a temporal lens. Providing an overview of this work, the chapter focuses on two aspects of routine temporality: the effects of time — subjective, intersubjective, and objective — on routine performance, and the development and evolution of routines over time. Based on the review, we discuss how a focus on temporality expands the research agenda for a number of core themes and questions in routine dynamics research.
In this chapter, we provide an overview of past and current research on developmental phonetics. We situate our work within the body of literature on child language phonetics and phonology, which describes speech production patterns, often in the context of other aspects (e.g. phonological, lexical) of the child’s larger linguistic system. Research on phonetic development poses unique challenges, in particular concerning the modelling of the child’s constantly evolving linguistic abilities, which take place in the context of other aspects of the child’s development. We discuss areas of interaction between phonology and other aspects of children’s linguistic behaviours, including how issues affecting speech articulation may influence the emergence of phonological processes, covert contrasts in production, and individual patterns of lexical selection and avoidance. Throughout this discussion, we review methodological approaches to developmental phonetics, from traditional, corpus-based investigations to more recent developments in instrumental studies of child speech, and discuss their contributions to our understanding of phonetic and phonological development in child language.
Chapter 7 introduces the subject matter of artificial complexity. First, it presents examples of artificial complexity by means of cellular automata. It presents one-dimensional cellular automata following Wolfram’s rules, and a two-dimensional cellular automaton in the form of a spatial evolutionary game. Then it introduces the concepts of complexity and emergence, as used in the science of complexity, and discusses some issues related to their definition and measurement. Finally, it discusses the scope and controversies around the application of the concepts and models of the science of complexity in economics.
Late watergrass is a competitive weed of rice that is well adapted to both aerobic and anaerobic environments. Cultural controls such as a stale-seedbed and alternating from wet- to dry-seeding have been proposed as management options. However, the effects of these systems on its emergence and early growth are unknown. The objective of this study was to modify a previously developed population-based threshold model (PBTM) to predict emergence and early growth under field conditions. In 2013, a series of experiments were conducted at the California Rice Experiment Station (CRES) in Biggs, CA, to evaluate emergence and early growth of multiple herbicide–resistant and -susceptible late watergrass at four burial depths (0.5, 2, 4, and 6 cm) under three irrigation regimes: continuously flooded (CF), daily flush (DF), and intermittent flush (IF). Resistant plants emerged at a significantly higher rate under the IF treatment (P < 0.05). Both biotypes showed decreasing emergence with increasing depth, and no plants emerged from the 4- or 6-cm depths in the CF treatment. Using the Gompertz growth curve, resistant plants had greater predicted growth rates (k), lower predicted maximum heights (hmax), and a shorter time to predicted maximum growth rate (tm) than susceptible plants under the CF and DF treatments. Under the IF treatment, the susceptible plants had greater k, lower hmax, and shorter time to predicted tm. Information about burial depth and irrigation was incorporated into a previously developed PBTM for late watergrass, and validated at the CRES in a field with a susceptible late watergrass population in 2013 and 2014, under two irrigation systems, CF and IF. Model fit was best in the CF treatments (average Akaike information criteria [AIC] = 199.05) compared to the IF treatments (average AIC = 208.6).
Wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis L.) is a widespread weed of the southeastern cropping region of Australia. Seed germination ecology of S. arvensis populations selected from different climatic regions may differ due to adaptative traits. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of temperature, light, radiant heat, soil moisture, salt concentration, and burial depth on seed germination and seedling emergence of two populations (Queensland [Qld] population: tropical region; and Victoria [Vic] population: temperate region) of S. arvensis. Both populations germinated over a wide range of day/night (12-h/12-h) temperatures (15/5 to 35/25 C), and had the highest germination at 30/20 C. Under complete darkness, the Qld population (61%) had higher germination than the Vic population (21%); however, under the light/dark regime, both populations had similar germination (78% to 86%). At 100 C pretreatment for 5 min, the Qld population (44%) had higher germination than the Vic population (13%). Germination of both populations was nil when given pretreatment at 150 and 200 C. The Vic population was found tolerant to high osmotic and salt stress compared with the Qld population. At an osmotic potential of −0.4 MPa, germination of Qld and Vic populations was reduced by 85% and 42%, respectively, compared with their respective controls. At 40, 80, and 160 mM sodium chloride, germination was lower for the Qld population than the Vic population. Averaged over the populations, seedling emergence was highest (52%) from a burial depth of 1 cm and was nil from 8-cm depth. Differential germination behaviors of both populations to temperature, light, radiant heat, water stress, and salt stress suggest that populations of S. arvensis may have undergone differential adaptation. Knowledge gained from this study will assist in developing suitable control measures for this weed species to reduce the soil seedbank.
Trish Salah contextualizes the broad post-2010 emergence of transgender fiction in a longer history of earlier trans and queer fiction and theory while arguing that “trans genre writing” has found recent prominence as a new minor literature. Particular challenges have led trans writers to innovate at the levels of language and aesthetics, perspective (collective, but not homogeneous), and genre, among others. Moreover, these works thematize and challenge norms and imperatives of empire, race, history, visibility, and geography.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States; however, concern is escalating about increasing residues of glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in soil. There is a lack of scientific literature examining the response of cover crops to soil residues of glyphosate or AMPA. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the impact of glyphosate or AMPA residues in silty clay loam soil on emergence, growth, and biomass of cover crops, including cereal rye, crimson clover, field pea, hairy vetch, and winter wheat, as well as their germination in a 0.07% (0.7 g L–1) solution of AMPA or glyphosate. Greenhouse studies were conducted at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to determine the dose response of broadleaf and grass cover crops to soil-applied glyphosate or AMPA. The results indicated that soil treated with glyphosate or AMPA up to 105 mg ae kg–1 of soil had no effect on the emergence, growth, above-ground biomass, and root biomass of any of the cover crop species tested. To evaluate the impact of AMPA or glyphosate on the seed germination of cover crop species, seeds were soaked in Petri plates filled with a 0.7 g L–1 solution of AMPA or glyphosate. There was no effect of AMPA on seed germination of any of the cover crop species tested. Seed germination of crimson clover and field pea in a 0.7 g L–1 solution of glyphosate was comparable to the nontreated control; however, the germination of cereal rye, hairy vetch, and winter wheat was reduced by 48%, 75%, and 66%, respectively, compared to the nontreated control. The results suggested that glyphosate or AMPA up to 105 mg ae kg–1 in silt clay loam soil is unlikely to cause any negative effect on the evaluated cover crop species.
The weed species Spermacoce densiflora DC. and Spermacoce verticillata L. have shown an increase in their occurrence in cultivated areas in the northeast region of Brazil, and field observations have reported their ineffective control with chemicals. This study aimed to evaluate the germination of S. densiflora and S. verticillata under constant (15, 20, 25, 30 and 35°C) and alternating temperatures (20–30°C) in dark and in constant light; the emergence of seedlings from seven sowing depths (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 10 cm); the emergence of seedlings under five types of cover crop straw (Crotalaria juncea L., Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br., Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, Dolichos lablab L., and Cajanus cajan L.) and four amounts (nil and the average, half and twice the amount of straw produced in the field); and germination at different aqueous cover crop extract concentrations (0, 20, 40, 60 and 100%) to measure allelopathic potential of cover crop straw. The results showed that S. densiflora has positive photoblastic behavior. The alternating temperature provided the highest percentage of germination and germination speed index (GSI) for both species. S. densiflora and S. verticillata seedling emergence decreased with an increase in depth, with no germination at a depth of 10 cm. The presence of straw impaired the emergence of seedlings of S. densiflora and S. verticillata by delaying and even preventing germination from occurring. The gradual increase in the aqueous extract concentrations was accompanied by lower percentages of germination and GSI for S. densiflora and S. verticillata.
Sumatran fleabane [Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) Walker] is an emerging weed in the Australian cropping region. Populations resistant to glyphosate have evolved in Australia, creating the demand for information regarding the seed germination ecology of glyphosate-resistant (R) and glyphosate-susceptible (S) populations of C. sumatrensis. A study was conducted to examine the effects of temperature, light intensity, salt stress, osmotic stress, and burial depth on the germination and emergence of two populations (R and S) of C. sumatrensis. Both populations were able to germinate over a wide range of alternating day/night temperatures (15/5 to 35/25 C). In light/dark conditions, the R population had higher germination than the S population at 20/10 and 35/25 C. In the dark, the R population had higher germination than the S population at 25/15 C. In the dark, germination was inhibited at 30/20 C and above. Averaged over populations, seed germination of C. sumatrensis was reduced by 97% at zero light intensity (completely dark conditions) compared with full light intensity. Seed germination of C. sumatrensis was reduced by 17% and 85% at osmotic potentials of −0.4, and −0.8 MPa, respectively, compared with the control treatment. The R population had lower germination (57%) than the S population (72%) at a sodium chloride concentration of 80 mM. Seed germination was highest on the soil surface and emergence was reduced by 87% and 90% at burial depths of 0.5 and 1.0 cm, respectively. Knowledge gained from this study suggests that a shallow-tillage operation to bury weed seeds in conventional tillage systems and retention of high residue cover on the soil surface in zero-till systems may inhibit the germination of C. sumatrensis. This study also warrants that the R population may have a greater risk of invasion over a greater part of a year due to germination over a broader temperature range.
Understanding emergence is an important goal of system thinking, as it can express both desirable and negative properties of products and systems. Emergence has also a special importance as it has a direct link to the performance of products and systems, and thus has a direct relationship with the quality of life and thus sustainability in our societies. Emergence and system thinking are closely related to engineering design methodologies. In our paper, we develop a more precise definition of emergence through the core principles of systems complementarity that are similarity, irreducibility and sophisticated relationships expressed through the interfaces between systems, subsystems or product components.
We demonstrate the utility of the approach based on an aircraft pylon case study by presenting a detailed definition of an interface design matrix and analyse how pylon subsystems influence emergence. The results have shown that the product can be perfectly represented by a model-based approach supporting interface management and the assessment of system complementarity. In turn, this approach allows to go beyond a qualitative definition of emergence, as it proposes a quantitative approach through the assessment of complementarity.
I distinguish various different ways in which reductive practices are important in some sciences. I will focus in particular on various kinds of theory reduction and of explanatory reduction. In the second part of the chapter I argue that the rationale for both theory reduction and explanatory reduction can be explicated in terms of our interest in achieving an understanding of how different descriptions of either one system (part-whole explanations) or classes of systems (theory reduction) are related. If we are confronted with different accounts of a class of systems (in the case of theory reduction) or of one system (e.g., accounts of the behaviour of one system in terms of different disciplines/vocabularies) we want these accounts to fit together. In the case of theory reduction we want to understand why a superseded theory was successful in the past and why we should continue to apply it. In the case of reductive part-whole explanations we want to understand why the description of the compound system and those of the parts and their interactions yield the same predictions ‘micro-macro coherence’).
Edmund Wilson’s famous critique that Steinbeck’s stories are “almost entirely about plants and animals” is tackled in this chapter, which argues that Steinbeck’s attention to the inner life of nonhuman animals represents a radical rethinking of humanity’s claims to privilege as a species. Focusing on Steinbeck’s representation of human and animal characters in The Red Pony--in particular his ascription of interiority to animals and his reduction of humans to pure behavior--I argue that Steinbeck’s work approaches a post-human ethical pluralism that defines humans according to their fallibility and cognitive deficits. However, Steinbeck’s exploration of the human-animal connection becomes more complex when we examine the relationship between the separate stories of The Red Pony, which interweave tales about animals with stories about the Western frontier. Once again, Steinbeck’s biological focus on humans as a species becomes caught up in problems of race that leave unchallenged a mythic ideology of the West, one that disguises the racial slaughter undergirding the animalistic emergence of white identity.
Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath is a notoriously ambivalent book, seeming at once politically radical and conservative in its social vision. Rather than dismissing these contradictions, this chapter examines the work performed by literary vagueness as it relates to a crucial concept that runs through Steinbeck’s writing: the process of emergence, the formation of wholes from component parts, which we see in analyses of Steinbeck’s construction of character, his slow descriptions of people and things, and his metafictional self-consciousness of the act of writing. Turning to the social philosophy of the novel, the chapter relates its faltering quality of thought--its failed attempt to articulate its ideas--to a developing understanding of the public sphere defined by false opinions and vulnerable to propaganda. The novel’s vagueness, in which ideas are always emerging but never fully forming, explains the book’s appeal to different political viewpoints. The novel’s partial self-understanding also explains Steinbeck’s failure to imagine nonwhite laborers in the California fields, as well as the jarring quality of the book’s final scene, whose power to imagine a public relationship between strangers depends on its provocative incompletion.
Mathematical models of biological populations and communities are the most common type of representation in ecology, with a wide array of functional forms and many different types of variables and parameters. This complexity and the uneasy relationship between theoretical and empirical work in ecology makes for fertile philosophical fodder. For example, most ecological models are highly idealized, incorporating unrealistic assumptions to make mathematical model analysis tractable. This is troubling in ecology as mathematical ecologists often uncritically emulate mathematically sophisticated models of physics to ensure their modeling is mathematically rigorous. Showing the characterization of ecological stability as Lyapunov stability as indefensible is one goal of this chapter. Another goal is assessing the ecological promise of individual-based models (IBMs) and the philosophical issues they pose. IBMs do not aggregate over, or abstract from, the details of interactions between individual organisms. This modeling strategy is part of a more general, well-vetted “methodologically-individualistic” approach to representing the world often employed in social sciences. Debates about methodological individualism in the social sciences reveal insights about how individual-based ecological modeling should be understood and indicate their reductive potential in ecology.
Aristotle’s biology and contemporary evolutionary biology appear to be fundamentally at odds. Any comparative biology seeks to explain the fit and diversity of organismal form, but Aristotelian and contemporary biology do so in very different, evidently incompatible, ways. In this chapter, I argue for a reconciliation between the two biologies. Recent advances in evolutionary thinking suggest that the form of population thinking pursued by twentieth-century evolutionary biology must be augmented by an understanding of the ways in which organisms as adaptive, purposive entities contribute to adaptive evolution. Moreover, the phenomenon of adaptation cannot adequately be understood unless we take into account the ways in which an organism’s “way of life” structures its experience of its conditions of existence. The active role that organisms play in evolution is nicely captured in Aristotle’s concept of bios – way of life.
Weaving primary accounts with botanical and ecological analyses, this chapter demonstrates how oil palm cultures, landscapes, and commerce emerged in western Africa and eventually helped to integrate an Atlantic World. It details human-oil palm relationships in West and Central Africa over the previous five thousand years, and applies complexity sciences to understand the formation and proliferation of biodiverse palm groves permeating human communities and secondary forests. It places palm oil and kernels as early goods of trade on the inter-biome routes and later with European ships journeying down African coasts, and describes how palm oil supported the transatlantic slave trade as both provision and medicine. It culminates by charting the oil palm’s diffusion throughout the Caribbean and the mainland American Tropics during European colonial expansion. Charting the longue durée of African oil palms and their transatlantic diffusion, this chapter reveals how a promising model of human-environmental collaboration and ingenuity became subsumed in the transatlantic slave economy and its horrendous crimes against humanity.
Herbicide resistance is an increasing issue in many weed species, including rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin); a major weed of winter cropping systems in southern Australia. Recently, this weed has also been found in summer crops in the southeastern region of Australia. Effective control of this herbicide-resistant weed across southeastern Australia requires alternative management strategies. These strategies can be informed by analyses on the interaction of germinable seeds with their regional environments and by identifying the differences between populations of varying herbicide-resistance levels. In this study, we explore how various environmental factors differentially affect the seed germination and seedling emergence of three L. rigidum populations, including one glyphosate-resistant population (GR), one glyphosate-susceptible population (GS), and one population of unknown resistance status (CC04). Germination was greater than 90% for all populations at each temperature regime, except 15/5 C. Populations germinated at a lower rate under 15/5 C, ranging from 74% to 87% germination. Salt stress had a similar effect on the germination of all populations, with 0% germination occurring at 250 mM salt stress. Population GS had greater tolerance to osmotic stress, with 65% germination at −0.4 MPa compared with 47% and 43% germination for CC04 and GR, respectively; however, germination was inhibited at −0.8 and −1.6 MPa for all populations. All populations had lower germination when placed in complete darkness as opposed to alternating light/dark. Germination in darkness was lower for CC04 (69%) than GR (83%) and GS (83%). Seedling emergence declined with increasing burial depth with the lowest emergence occuring at 8 cm (37%) when averaged over the populations. These results indicate that L. rigidum can survive under a range of environmental variables and that the extent of survival differs based on population; however, there was no difference based on herbicide-resistance status.