Investigation into the system dynamics of a wetland soil technoecoysystem using redox potential as a metabolic indicator and feedback control parameter
Blersch, David Michael
Kangas, Patrick C.
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The engineering of technoecosystems (technological-ecological hybrids) was investigated, focusing specifically on novel behavior exhibited by an ecosystem when given control over its own energy sources via artificial feedback control circuits. A technoecosystem was constructed based upon wetland soil microcosms using redox potential as an indicator of system metabolism and as the controlled parameter. Two types of experiments were performed to elucidate system dynamics. Results of the carbon addition experiments exhibited an increase in the rate of decline of redox potential over time as a result of the feedback control system, indicating increased metabolism in the microcosms. Results of the carbon/nitrate selection experiments showed oscillatory redox potential over time, trending towards regulation of redox potential within a set range. Simple computational models of ecological limiting factors are developed to explain the results. A classification system for technoecosystems is proposed, and implications into technoecosystem intelligence and energetic autonomy are discussed.