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DISEQUILIBRIUM, AS USED in ecology, is a term used to describe systems that do not tend toward a stable, homeostatic balance. Whereas an ecological system in equilibrium tends toward stability both in terms of species composition and cycling of abiotic nutrients and energy, a system in disequilibrium exhibits no stable end point, has species composition in flux, and exchanges nutrients, energy, and organisms with surrounding systems.

Disequilibrium systems can be either dynamic or static. With dynamic disequilibrium, disturbances to environments occur too frequently for a stable equilibrium to be reached, and species turnover, the rate at which become locally extinct from a given location and are replaced by new species, is driven by the interaction between frequency of disturbances relative to the mortality and reproductive rates ...

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