This is part of DOI:10.1029/2008WR007279.
Ecohydrologic process networks: 2. Analysis and characterization
Article first published online: 25 MAR 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 45, Issue 3, March 2009
How to Cite
2009), Ecohydrologic process networks: 2. Analysis and characterization, Water Resour. Res., 45, W03420, doi:10.1029/2008WR007280., and (
- Issue published online: 25 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 25 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 25 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUL 2008
- process network;
- transfer entropy;
- emergent behavior
 Ecohydrological systems are complex, open dissipative systems characterized by couplings and feedback between subsystems at many scales of space and time. The information flow process network approach is developed to analyze such systems, using time series data to delineate the feedback, time scales, and subsystems that define the complex system's organization. Network statistics are used to measure the statistical feedback, entropy, and net and gross information production of subsystems on the network to study monthly process networks for a Midwestern corn-soybean ecosystem for the years 1998–2006. Several distinct system states are identified and characterized. Particularly interesting is the midsummer state that is dominated by regional-scale information feedback and by information flow originating from the ecosystem's photosynthetic activity. In this state, information flows both “top-down” from synoptic weather systems and “bottom-up” from the plant photosynthetic activity. A threshold in air temperature separates this summer state where increased organization appears from other system states. The relationship between Shannon entropy and information flow is investigated. It is found that information generally flows from high-entropy variables to low-entropy variables, and moderate-entropy variables participate in feedback.