Much of the effort in 20th-century biological research has been aimed at reducing biological phenomena to the behavior of molecules. Despite the enormous success of this approach, a discrete biological function can only rarely be attributed to an individual molecule. Most biological functions arise from complex interactions among many components. Our increasing understanding of complex systems demands that 21st century biological research advances beyond reductionism.
Using this holistic mechanistic view and a highly-quantitative, modeling approach to biological and ecological systems, research conducted in Dr. Li’s laboratory addresses questions that include but are not limited to: How do biological and ecological systems self-organize? What are the origins and mechanisms of emergence of scaling from individual to landscape levels (especially on emergence of dynamic scaling)? And what are the physical bases of non-equilibrium biological and ecological systems? We use mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling approaches as a way of exploring and answering these questions. These modeling approaches help identify general principles and basic mechanisms governing emerging properties of biological and ecological systems at multiple temporal and spatial scales based on energetic, thermodynamic and information considerations.
We also apply complex systems theories and modeling approaches to very applied ecological problems in conservation biology, biological invasion, restoration ecology, ecological monitoring and assessment, global change, and sustainable development.
Selected Recent Journal Publications:
Chen, X. and B. L. Li. 2004. Tree diversity change in remaining primary mixed-broadleaved Korean pine forest under climate change and human activities. Biodiversity and Conservation 13: 563-577.
Makarieva, A. M., V. G. Gorshkov, B. L. Li, and K. S. Losev. 2004. The upper and lower ecological limits of specific metabolic power of different organisms. Russian J. Ecol. 35 (1): 10-15.
Makarieva, A. M., V. G. Gorshkov, and B. L. Li. 2004. Ontogenetic growth: models and theory. Ecol. Modell. 176 (1/2): 15-26.
Medvinsky, A. B., I. A. Tikhonova, B. L. Li, and H. Malchow. 2004. Time delay as a key factor of model plankton dynamics. C. R. Biologies (Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences-Series III-Life Sciences) 327: 277-282.
Petrovskii, S., B. L. Li, and H. Malchow. 2004. Transition to spatiotemporal chaos can resolve the paradox of enrichment. Ecological Complexity 1: 37-47.
Makarieva, A. M., V. G. Gorshkov, and B. L. Li. 2004. Body size, energy consumption and allometric scaling: a new dimension in the diversity-stability debate. Ecological Complexity 1: 139-175.
Morozov, A., S. Petrovskii, and B. L. Li. 2004. Bifurcations and chaos in a predator-prey system with the Allee effect. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271: 1407-1414.
Tian, J. and B. L. Li. 2004. Coalgebraic structure of genetic inheritance. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering 1(2): 243-266.
Chen, X., G. Zhou, and B. L. Li. 2004. Multi-scale ecological adaptation of a young mixed broadleaved and coniferous Korean pine forest community to drought. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences 3(3): 353-362.
Li, B. L., V. G. Gorshkov, and A. M. Makarieva. 2004. Energy partitioning between different-sized organisms and ecosystem stability. Ecology 85(7): 1811-1813.
Medvinsky, A. B., A. Y. Morozov, V. V. Velkov, B.-L. Li, M. S. Sokolov, and H. Malchow. 2004. Modeling the invasion of recessive Bt resistant insects: an impact on transgenic plants. Journal of Theoretical Biology 231: 121-127.
Chen, X. and B. L. Li. 2004. Characteristics of diurnal water loss of five adjacent ecosystems at Changbai Mountains in Northeast China. Polish J. of Ecology 52: 323-331.
Chen, X. and B. L. Li. 2004. Quickly identifying tree species susceptible to extinction: a case study of seven tree species at Northeast China Transect. Journal for Nature Conservation 12: 205-211.
Chen, X., X. Zhang, and B. L. Li. 2005. Influence of Tibetan Plateau on vegetation distributions in East Asia: a modeling perspective. Ecol. Modell. 181: 79-86. (In Press)
Petrovskii, S., H. Malchow, and B. L. Li. 2005. An exact solution of diffusive Lotka-Volterra equations. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A (accepted September 24, 2004).
Barrows, C. W., M. B. Swartz, W. L. Hodges, M. F. Allen, J. T. Rotenberry, B. L. Li, T. A. Scott, and X. Chen. 2005. A framework for monitoring multiple species conservation plans. J. of Wildlife Management (accepted September 24, 2004).
Petrovskii, S., A. Morozov, and B. L. Li. 2005. Regimes of biological invasion in a predator-prey system with the Allee effect. Bull. Mathematical Biology (accepted September 15, 2004).
Chen, X., B. L. Li., and S. L. Collins. 2005. Multiscale monitoring of a multispecies case study: two grass species at Sevilleta. Plant Ecology (accepted November 19, 2004).
Chen, X., B. L. Li., et al. 2005. Spatial structure of multispecies distributions in southern California, USA. Biological Conservation (accepted November 23, 2004).
Nezlin, N. P., A. G. Kostianoy, B. L. Li. 2005. Interannual variability and interaction of vegetation and atmospheric precipitation in the Aral Sea region. Journal of Arid Environments (accepted January 19, 2005). Current Teaching:
BPSC 240 Bioodiversity BPSC 240 - Ecological Scaling
BPSC 245 Advanced Plant Ecology BPSC 247 - Ecological Theory and Modeling
Current Laboratory Personnel:
Xiongwen Chen, Postdoc
Amit Chakraborty, Postdoc
Britta Daudert, Ph.D. Candidate (Applied Mathematics)
Masha Gonik, Ph.D. Candidate (joint appointment with Russian Academy of Sciences)
Hong Luo, Ph.D. Candidate (joint appointment with Yunnan University, China)
Alexander B. Medvinsky, Visiting Researcher (joint appointment with Russian Academy of Sciences)
Andrew Morozov, Postdoc
Nikolay P. Nezlin, Visiting Researcher (joint appointment with UCLA and Russian Academy of Sciences)
Sergei Petrovskii, Visiting Researcher (joint appointment with Russian Academy of Sciences)
Nigie Shi, Ph.D. Student (Statistics)
Irene Tikhonova, Ph.D. student (joint appointment with Russian Academy of Sciences)