By:  and 
Edited by: Abdel H. El-Shaarawi and Walter W. Piegorsch



Panarchy is the term coined to describe hierarchical systems where control is not only top down, as typically considered, but also bottom up. A panarchy is composed of adaptive cycles, and an adaptive cycle describes the processes of development and decay in a system. Complex systems self-organize into hierarchies because this structure limits the possible spread of destructive phenomena (e.g., forest fires, epidemics) that could result in catastrophic system failure. Thus, hierarchical organization enhances the resilience of complex systems.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Panarchy
DOI 10.1002/9780470057339.vnn160
Edition 2nd
Volume 4
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Publisher location Chichester, U.K
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Encyclopedia of environmetrics
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N