REWARD LOOP 2)
A positive feedback emitted by a downstream system which favors an upstream system from which it thus gains an increase of useful inputs.
H.T. ODUM explains this in the following terms: "In ecological studies there is the positive feedback loop through which a downstream recipient of potential energy rewards its source by passing necessary materials back to it. For example, the animals in a balanced system feed back to the plants in reward loops the phosphate, nitrates, and other compounds required for their growth… Species whose work efforts are not reinforced are shortly eliminated, for they run out of either raw materials or energy. They must be connected to input and output flows to survive" (1971, p.150)
Reward loops act as selectors. This conceptual frame, as noted by ODUM, can be readily applied to economics, where "… money provides a means for organizing energy flows" (p.174-177). As suggested by K. BOULDING, "ecosystem" seems an equally suitable name for ecological and economic systems… and even possibly for their unavoidable integration.
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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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