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Presents a consistent and complete ecosystem theory based on thermodynamic concepts. The first chapters are devoted to an interpretation of the first and second law of thermodynamics in an ecosystem context. Then Prigogine's use of the far from equilibrium thermodynamic is used to explain the reactions of ecosystems to perturbations. The introduction of the concept of exergy makes it possible to give a more comprehensive explanation of ecosystem reactions and growth patterns. The trophic chain, global energy and radiation balance and pattern and the reactions of ecological networks are all explained by the use of exergy. Finally, there is a discussion of how the theory can be applied more widely to explain ecological observations, to assess ecosystem health and to develop ecosystem models.