InterJournal Complex Systems, 250
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [250]
Submission Date: 981218
Revised On: 322
Time Series Analysis of Ecosystem Variables with Complexity Measures
Author(s): Holger Lange

Subject(s): CX.07, CX.34

Category: Brief Article


We study the behavior of forested catchments by means of a detailed analysis of time series for hydrological and hydrochemical variables. The analysis includes linear as well as nonlinear methods, exhibiting short-term as well as intricate long-term dynamics in the series. Complexity and entropy-related measures turned out to be especially suited when the focus is on short-term aspects. The overall observation here is that such ecosytems can be characterized by the randomness (quantified by the mean information gain) and complexity (e.g., using fluctuation complexity as appropriate definition) of their ouput (here, water discharge). For long-term behavior (years to decades), we investigate Hurst statistics and recurrence plots. Here, a main result is a rather high persistence and pronounced periodicities for typical output variables (e.g. runoff volume in a stream). Examples demonstrate that with these methods, also antropogenic disturbances are locatable in the output behavior of these ecosystems.

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