Next Article in Journal
Assessing Catchment Resilience Using Entropy Associated with Mean Annual Runoff for the Upper Vaal Catchment in South Africa
Next Article in Special Issue
Horton Ratios Link Self-Similarity with Maximum Entropy of Eco-Geomorphological Properties in Stream Networks
Previous Article in Journal
Entropy-Based Parameter Estimation for the Four-Parameter Exponential Gamma Distribution
Previous Article in Special Issue
Discussing Landscape Compositional Scenarios Generated with Maximization of Non-Expected Utility Decision Models Based on Weighted Entropies
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Entropy 2017, 19(5), 192;

Entropy in the Tangled Nature Model of Evolution

Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
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
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)
Full-Text   |   PDF [848 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]   |  


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Roach, T.N.F.; Nulton, J.; Sibani, P.; Rohwer, F.; Salamon, P. Entropy in the Tangled Nature Model of Evolution. Entropy 2017, 19, 192.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Entropy EISSN 1099-4300 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top