Panarchy Glossary

Adaptive Cycle

The interactions among the biotic and abiotic elements of system within a single scale, including elements’ organization, growth, and decay.


Method of structural organization where influence only travels from the top scale through middle scales (if any) to the bottom scale.


A nested set of adaptive cycles. Unlike in a hierarchy, influence comes not just from the top down but also from the bottom up.


Pathway in a panarchy that occurs when the renewal phase of the scale organizes according to the structure and processes of the larger and slower scale above it.


Pathway in a panarchy that occurs when events at fast and small scales accumulate and overwhelm structures at large and slow scales.


A whole made up of interacting components.