Raymond Lindeman nsIn ecology, Raymond Lindeman (1915-1942) was an American ecologist his 1942 article “The Trophic-Dynamic Aspects of Ecology”, wherein, building on the previous work of Charles Elton (1927), on food chains, and Arthur Tansley (1935), on the definition of “ecosystem” as an association of plants and animals and the physical factors of their environment, he outlines the concept of an ecosystem as an energy-transforming system: [1]

“The basic process in trophic dynamics is the transfer of energy from one part of the ecosystem to another. All function, and indeed all life, within an ecosystem depends upon the utilization of an external source of energy, solar radiation. portion of this incident energy is transformed by the process of photosynthesis into the structure of living organisms.”

Lindeman, supposedly, employs some thermodynamic formalism, such that at each trophic level, work is performed in the maintenance of the organism, but such that the transformations are relatively inefficient, so that less energy is available to each higher trophic level: layered on top of each other, each trophic level width sized proportional to their energy contents, this model becomes viewed as a pyramid model or "trophic pyramid" model as it is sometimes called (see main: energy pyramid model). [3]

Lindeman was a post-doctoral student of English-born American zoologist George Hutchinson (1903-1991), who was impressed by the biogeochemical principles of Russian geologist Vladimir Vernadsky, and who in the 1930s had applied Vernadsky’s principles to the study of lakes, Linsley Pond in North Branford, Connecticut, in particular, thinking of the community as an organism, and metabolism of the organism as a “transference of matter and energy”, and tried to understand the process of succession in thermodynamic terms.

The potential of Hutchinson's approach was said to have reached its fullest expression in the work of Lindeman, particularly his so-called classic 1942 paper “The Trophic-Dynamic Aspect of Ecology”, wherein he viewed the ecosystem, considering the biotic community and the abiotic environment as a single functional unit, and built on Elton’s feeding relationships models, albeit reducing the discussion to energy and energy flows from one trophic level to the next, using a pyramid of numbers, whereby each structural relationship was dictated by the second law of thermodynamics. [2]

See also
Paul Colinvaux

1. Lindeman, Raymond L. (1942). “The Trophic-Dynamic Aspects of Ecology” (pdf), Ecology, 23: 399-418.
2. (a) Mitman, Gregg. (1992). The State of Nature: Ecology, Community, and American Social Thiought, 1900-1950 (pg. 140). University of Chicago Press.
(b) G. Evelyn Hutchinson – Wikipedia.
3. (b) Scott, Thomas. (1996). Concise Encyclopedia of Biology (pg. 408). Walter de Gruyter.
(c) Brooks, Daniel R. and Wilson, Edward O. (1988). Evolution as Entropy: Toward a Unified theory of Biology (pg. 31). University of Chicago Press.

External links
Raymond Lindeman – Wikipedia.

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