Experimental chaos

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Science  17 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5298, pp. 281
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5298.281f

Chaos in ecological systems has long been predicted from the application of nonlinear dynamics to population biology but experimental confirmation has been difficult. Building on previous studies, Costantino et al. (p. 389; see the Perspective by Godfray and Hassell, p. 323) predicted a series of complex dynamic patterns resulting from manipulation of pupal mortality in laboratory populations of the flour beetle Tribolium and were able to confirm these experimentally. This work has shown that a few simple equations can capture population dynamics quantitatively.

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