The breakdown of a system into various separated parts.
The original concept comes fron A. TOYNBEE, who applied it to the final destruction of empires, which he attributed to the loss of some critical monopolies.
Fragmentation seems however to be a quite general phenomenon related to some types of systems widely extended in space, as populations or species. It seems to be mostly determined by the severance of communication lines, which in turn is generally a result of their overextension and the existence of very different conditions in distant parts of the system.
Fragmentation can also be considered as inverse or complementary to the process of percolation.
For example, a result of general ecological transformation of ecosystems by man is their progressive splitting into impoverished, iII-connected or disconnected patches. Extreme fragmentation may lead to the reduction and even total destruction of some types of elements, as they become unable to reproduce and propagate in the fragmented setting.
The same process occurs in archaic societies under the pressure of invaders or colonists.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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