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Open AccessArticle

Entropy in the Tangled Nature Model of Evolution

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Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
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Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
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Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, Odense M 5230, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Samuel A. Cushman
Entropy 2017, 19(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19050192
Received: 25 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy in Landscape Ecology)
Applications of entropy principles to evolution and ecology are of tantamount importance given the central role spatiotemporal structuring plays in both evolution and ecological succession. We obtain here a qualitative interpretation of the role of entropy in evolving ecological systems. Our interpretation is supported by mathematical arguments using simulation data generated by the Tangled Nature Model (TNM), a stochastic model of evolving ecologies. We define two types of configurational entropy and study their empirical time dependence obtained from the data. Both entropy measures increase logarithmically with time, while the entropy per individual decreases in time, in parallel with the growth of emergent structures visible from other aspects of the simulation. We discuss the biological relevance of these entropies to describe niche space and functional space of ecosystems, as well as their use in characterizing the number of taxonomic configurations compatible with different niche partitioning and functionality. The TNM serves as an illustrative example of how to calculate and interpret these entropies, which are, however, also relevant to real ecosystems, where they can be used to calculate the number of functional and taxonomic configurations that an ecosystem can realize. View Full-Text
Keywords: configurational entropy; ecology; evolution configurational entropy; ecology; evolution
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Roach, T.N.F.; Nulton, J.; Sibani, P.; Rohwer, F.; Salamon, P. Entropy in the Tangled Nature Model of Evolution. Entropy 2017, 19, 192.

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