Emergent and effective properties in ecology and evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emergent properties are often discussed in arguments concerning relationships among different levels. However, the different definitions of emergent properties sometimes confuse the arguments about macro-level phenomena, since some authors regard emergent properties not only as observable global patterns but as properties that affect and cause change in ecological and evolutionary processes. Thus it is important to distinguish higher-level or larger-scale properties that can influence particular ecological and evolutionary processes from those that cannot. I call the former properties effective properties. I gave examples that show why the distinctions between effective and non-effective properties are important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalResearches on Population Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • emergence
  • emergent properties
  • global
  • higher-level
  • macro-level
  • patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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