This chapter focuses on the Catastrophe Theory, particularly its standpoint in the well-known conventional views of multiple stable states. It discusses why the theory has been widely used by mathematicians, chemists, and physicists, but disregarded by most ecologists. The most infamous proponent of catastrophe theory is René Thom, who developed the topology of catastrophes. Thom showed that for systems with one or two state variables and four or fewer parameters, there are seven elementary catastrophes or basic models that contain discontinuous jumps. The chapter also presents different ecological examples supporting the theory.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.