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Population dynamics models remain largely deterministic, although the presence of random fluctuations in nature is well recognized. This deterministic approach is based on the implicit assumption that systems can be separated into a deterministic part that captures the essential features of the system and a random part that can be neglected. But is it possible, in general, to understand population dynamics without the explicit consideration of random fluctuations? Here, we suggest perhaps not, and argue that the dynamics of many systems are a result of interactions between the deterministic nonlinear skeleton and noise.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Ecol Evol

Publication Date





359 - 364