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Entropy 2010, 12(10), 2085-2096; doi:10.3390/e12102085

Information Driven Ecohydrologic Self-Organization

1,*  and 2
1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA 2 Department of Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 August 2010 / Accepted: 8 September 2010 / Published: 29 September 2010
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Variability plays an important role in the self-organized interaction between vegetation and its environment, yet the principles that characterize the role of the variability in these interactions remain elusive. To address this problem, we study the dependence between a number of variables measured at flux towers by quantifying the information flow between the different variables along with the associated time lag. By examining this network of feedback loops for seven ecosystems in different climate regions, we find that: (1) the feedback tends to maximize information production in the entire system, and the latter increases with increasing variability within the whole system; and (2) variables that participate in feedback exhibit moderated variability. Self-organization arises as a tradeoff where the ability of the total system to maximize information production through feedback is limited by moderate variability of the participating variables. This relationship between variability and information production leads to the emergence of ordered organization.
Keywords: information theory; transfer entropy; self-organization; fluxnet; ecohydrology information theory; transfer entropy; self-organization; fluxnet; ecohydrology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kumar, P.; Ruddell, B.L. Information Driven Ecohydrologic Self-Organization. Entropy 2010, 12, 2085-2096.

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