Content of Exclusive: Methodology of Ecology in our journal

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  • Exclusive: Methodology of Ecology
    XIAO Xianjing
    Science & Technology Review. 2018, 36(18): 81-88.
    In traditional scientific experiments, validity, accuracy, and precision correspond to authenticity. However, in ecological experiment the situation is quite different and only by ensuring validity can we obtain authenticity. In light of this, we should strive to ensure that the "concept of measurement" is covered but not overlapped with the "concept of research" or "concept of imaginary" in the experimental process, and measuring real things in the process of establishing the validity of ecological experiments. Accuracy corresponds to authenticity, however, in ecological experiments, the "true" reference value is difficult to obtain. Even the acquisition may not be reliable, thus improving technical performance of the instrument, improving the operating flow of experiment, and adopting other methods such as "blank value" test are required. It is necessary to improve accuracy in an effort to obtain accurate results, or qualitatively determine whether or to what extent the experimental data in the ecological measurement are accurate, according to the relevant theoretical and empirical analysis. Precision is positively related to reliability. In ecological experiment, precision should be increased to guarantee reliability, otherwise, even if the true experimental result is obtained, it may not be believed due to poor precision (reliability). Generally, for different types of ecological experiments, from mathematical models to digital organisms to artificial life systems (cosmological experiments) and finally to the natural system that is not disturbed or processed, the complexity is increasing, the precision is decreasing and the authenticity is getting worse. Therefore, we must select the appropriate type of experiment and weigh the precision and authenticity of the experiment with case study.
  • Exclusive: Methodology of Ecology
    LIN Xianglei
    Science & Technology Review. 2018, 36(18): 89-95.
    The meaning, classification, and function of natural experiment are illustrated. Natural experiment is compared with traditional experiment and observation, and their similarities and differences are analyzed. Natural experiment utilizes naturally occurring interference or interference caused by others such as treatments, and follows the experimental design of R. A. Fisher. Therefore, natural experiment is not observation in the sense of traditional experiment, is different from the traditional experiment, and is a kind of quasi-experimental between traditional experiment and active observation. At the same time, there is no complete dichotomy between observation and experiment, but there is a continuous series, namely passive observation, active observation, natural experiment, and traditional experiment according to presence or absence of interference, the interference imposer, and the availability of experimental design.
  • Exclusive: Methodology of Ecology
    WANG Haiqin
    Science & Technology Review. 2018, 36(18): 96-104.
    In order to deal with the current problems of environmental research approaches such as isolation and neglect of interior dimensions, Esbjörn-Hargens and Zimmerman have jointly proposed an integral ecology which is different from the mainstream ecology, environmentalism or other theories of integral ecology. With the help of Ken Wilber's integral theory, it provides a who×how×what framework and a platform to tackle environmental problems with a three-dimensional combination of ontology, epistemology and methodology. The theory continuously explores on organization establishment and practice cases, and has a great influence on Britain and America and other countries. Its characteristics lie in paying attention to the interior dimension of environmental problems, cultivating integral ecological awareness and providing dynamic thought map for comprehensive environmental exploration. It is helpful to promote the exploration of the interior dimension and the comprehensive treatment of environmental problems.