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Google Pagerank for Ecosystems

Late on the jump as far as breaking news goes, but here a must-write-about concept. I watched this story leap around the eco-tech blogosphere, and finally had an “aha” moment as to how totally awesome it really is when I listened to my regular dose of 60-Second Science yesterday. The idea is essentially this:


{digg}{/digg}Google has a great way to rank pages in order of importance. Trusting that you, dear reader, embody the geek side of buy kamagra EcoGeek, I don’t need to cheapest propecia in uk go into detail on Pagerank. Just as ranking webpages is complicated, so to is discount online levitra tracing the links of the get levitra food web and buy discount tramadol free prescription ranking the impact species extinction will have on levitra generic ecosystems. Stefano Allesino has outlined a “new” way to track the importance of species within ecosystems – copy Google. While everything is indeed dependant on everything else, there are still some critters that cause far more noticeable impact than others when present or absent from an area. So, as one organism impacts multiple others, it rises in importance.


Using similar alogorithmic methods to rank species as Google uses for webpages, conservationists will have an easier time knowing where to focus immediate efforts and resources for endangered flora and fauna. This is one of those exciting and cool uses of technology for the environment that don’t seem to pop up too often. The concept behind it can be widely spread out to include the ranking of whole ecosystems in keeping the world’s functions in balance, and ranking the negative impacts organisms have on their environments (ahem, humans, ahem). The interdependence of living things can make this pretty tricky, but I can’t wait to see the system come to buy viagra online pharmacy fruition.


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Neat.... but,
written by The Food Monster, August 15, 2008
This is a great way to concentrate efforts, however, letting certain species go extinct just because they weren't high enough on the list, will still have some impact somewhere.

The Food Monster
author of:
how will it work
written by jared, August 15, 2008
Google works (I think) because there is data of generic viagra companies folks going to pages. How will comparable data be traced to a certain tree versus a certain bug? Would it only be scientists that estimate the data?
have you read?
written by Charlie, August 15, 2008
Have you read Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe? It's about the collapse of fish stocks around the world and how to eat fish ethically and sustainably in the world. Not terribly geeky, but very eco so....

anyway, he talks about this concept a bit by tying the trophic ranking of a species (the higher the number, the higher it is in the food chain) to the health of the surrounding eco-system. He doesn't call up the google page-rank concept, but trophic numbers could be one way of looking at this.

Also, great book.
written by Paige Green, June 18, 2009
An interesting concept, but would it really work in theory. Because unlike something like Google that for the most part counts "in bound links", species are dependent on each other. Predators needs prey to survive while prey need predators to keep their populations in check, as an example.

I think Mother Nature has got the cialis generic most complex algorithm when it comes to levitra india pharmacy ecosystems ...more than Google search!
Hmm, the devil is in the detail
written by keith, October 21, 2009
On the face of it using the Google ranking model sounds good; but an ecosystem is a many dimensional beast in space and time - the apparent relationship value between 'players' could be derived through indirect benefits to others - and there is no reason for this reward to be played out in a short time frame either. You might end up missing out an important long term 'cycle' which could invalidate the whole model.. be very careful.

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