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Journal Article

Ecology, mythology and the organismic way of thinking in limnology


Ghilarov,  Alexej M.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Ghilarov, A. M. (1992). Ecology, mythology and the organismic way of thinking in limnology. Tree - Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 7(1), 22-25.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-E45F-D
For laymen, the word 'ecology' has become naturally surrounded with mythological mist. The influence of mythological thinking on ecology as a science is not so evident, but it certainly exists and in some aspects it can hardly be overestimated. The idea of the organism as a model or matrix for shaping new knowledge about populations, communities and ecosystems is extremely important in the maintenance of mythological thinking in modern ecology. We may even consider the organismic ideas as a vehicle of mythology in modern ecology. In this article, the problem is illustrated with limnology - an advanced branch of ecology in which it is easier to see the connections and contradictions between the dominant approaches.