Main Article Content
The role of improbable but highly influential events in ecology and evolution is poorly understood. Recent works in economics and finance emphasize the importance that these events, so-called Black Swans, can have for the behavior, predictability and ultimately understanding of complex economic systems. Ecology and evolution are also complex systems that involve the interaction of organisms with their environment in different time scales and therefore they should also experience Black Swans. Here, we briefly discuss the nature of Black Swans, and their potential role in ecology and evolution. Traditionally, ecological and evolutionary research has been mostly focused in normal or regular events, while rare events have been usually ignored. However, several highly consequential events in ecology and evolution could qualify as Black Swans. For example, the sudden emergence of a new deadly pathogen, or, the rapid extinction or diversification of a lineage could be considered Black Swans. Thus, including the Black Swan phenomenon in ecological and evolutionary thinking may be necessary for a better understanding of these subjects.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).