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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Network: Installation Research I

We began our research component which would comprise the majority of our mid semester hand-in.  It essentially split into two components.

First we had to research ecosystems and real-world examples of species being removed from ecosystems already.  We came across several interesting concepts which had an impact on our installation idea.

'Biomass' is a measurement of how many of a particular species are regularly observed in its natural environment.  It is most easily mapped with Eco-pyramid diagrams -which display producer or provider species (plants) at the bottom with a larger biomass, and 'apex predators' at the top with a smaller biomass.  If it were any other way, an ecosystem would be forced to collapse as not enough sources of food would be available to sustain the food chain or web.

Biomass pyramid example

'Keystone Species' are particular animals who despite their comparatively small biomass, have an exceptionally large impact on their immediate environments.  This would be a good start to building the particular ecosystem we would choose to display, as having a keystone species as the centre of our network would allow radical change to be made to all nodes affected.  Essentially keystone species contribute a particular action (usually dietary) which sustains control over its immediate ecosystem.  Increasing or decreasing the number of this species has a flow on effect.

See this link for a detailed article on keystone species:

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