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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2013 Feb 18;371(1987):20120376. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2012.0376. Print 2013 Mar 28.

Networks and webs in ecosystems and financial systems.

Author information

  • Zoology Department, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. robert.may@zoo.ox.ac.uk


This paper briefly outlines our growing understanding of the relationships between the network structure of ecological networks--both in mathematical models and in the real world--and their consequent dynamical properties. These are interesting, inter alia, because they affect the system's ability to withstand disturbance, whether natural or human-created. The paper also sketches recent interest in the potential relevance of this work to 'systemic risk' and regulatory measures in banking systems, emphasizing the similarities and differences. I conclude with some cautions against drawing excessively general conclusions from any such models.

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