Ecological systems and the concept of biological organization
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An axiomatic system is proposed to improve identification, description, and analysis of complex ecological systems. Such systems are assumed to be organized and have structure. Organization is the complex of interactions and properties of structure that make the perpetuation of structure possible. An entity of structure is assumed to be composed of other entities. The term entity is adopted as a "primitive term." The concept of minimum interactive structure is imposed as an epistemological constraint on the structural infinity of real systems. Other terms are defined as either relations between entities of structure, derived properties resulting from combining such entities into entities of higher order, or conditions necessary for this assembly. Organization is a composite term and consists of complementarity, coordination, integration, and hierarchy. Evaluation of overall organization of an ecological entity appears theoretically possible through parametrization and quantification of these components of organization.