Order and chaos in ecological systems.

W. M. Schaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


Systems of differential equations exhibiting complex periodic or chaotic behavior can sometimes be associated with one-dimensional mappings (difference equations) which encapsulate the properties of the attractor governing the full n-dimensional system. Recent advances make it possible to reconstruct the underlying attractor, and hence the one-dimensional map, from time-series data for a single state variable (species). This technique is illustrated with reference to a hypothetical system consisting of a single predator species and 2 species of victims. Trapping records for Canadian lynx Lynx canadensis suggest that the method may have application to real-world populations. -Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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