Taylor's Power Law: Order and Pattern in Nature is a broad synthesis of this ubiquitous property of natural and manmade phenomena. This stimulating and approachable work surveys the biological and non-biological empirical data, describes the statistical uses of Taylor's Power Law (TPL) and its relationship to statistical distributions, exposes the mathematical connections to other power laws, covers the competing explanatory models, and develops an argument for TPL's genesis. Taylor's power law relates the variability of a process or population to its average value and has recognized in microbiology, genetics, economics, astronomy, physics and computer science.
Both biologists who know the law as Taylor's power law and physical scientists who know it as fluctuation scaling will be interested in the bigger picture on this fascinating subject. As the relationship between variance and mean is found in so wide a range of disciplines, it seems possible it is a deep property of number, not just a phenomenon in ecology as was originally thought.
- Provides a single reference on the properties, scope and limitations of Taylor's power law
- Reports the empirical, analytical and theoretical work without opinion
- Brings together thoughts and suggestions from the hundreds who have written and speculated on Taylor's power law
I. Introduction to Population Spatial Patterns II. Description and History III. Indices of Aggregation IV. Uses of TPL V. Empirical Evidence
1 Ecology and Agriculture VI. Other biological VII. Empirical Evidence
2 Non-biological VIII. Empirical Evidence
3 Properties IX. Counter Examples X. Relationship to TPL XI. Models to Generate TL
Introduction XII. Models to Generate TPL
Biology Based XIII. Models to Generate TPL
Physics Based XIV. Models to Generate TPL
Mathematical XV. Synthesis and Discussion XVI. Conclusion XVII. Appendices XVIII. Tables of Results XIX. Citation Index XX. Subject Index
Dr. Taylor is a population ecologist and systems scientist interested in resource conservation and environmentally safe insect pest control, and has worked and published on Taylor's power law for many years. With Dr. Andrew Chapple, he modeled the pesticide dose-transfer process to better understand pesticide delivery, which led to the award of two patents. Other research analyzed and modeled invasive insect populations: Gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, and emerald ash borer. He now leads the EPIC modeling group at Texas A&M, which assesses agriculture's impact on the environment and is being expanded to assess the economic and environmental cost-benefit of insect pest management strategies. Educated in Zoology, Applied Entomology, and Theoretical Ecology, he has published in peer-reviewed literature for nearly four decades and has been an Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London since 1987.