1Use of the Ecosystem Concept on the Web

The animal and the environment are two sides of the same process, the object and the subject of knowledge mutually defining one another.

Humberto Maturana

Without a doubt, ecology drives you mad; that is where one should start.

Bruno Latour

The concept of the ecosystem only appeared comparatively recently and has since been credited to the British ecologist Tansley, who first used the word in 1935. According to Dury, Tansley defines this concept as “a whole constructed by the relations that maintains the living species and the physical habitat that allows them to develop”. Moreover, he highlights the shifting nature of this arrangement: “It depends on exogenous or external factors such as temperature, sunlight, humidity, etc., and internal factors such as the population sizes of the living beings that occupy it. The ecosystem is constantly changing according to these factors” [DUR 99, p. 488].

However, long before this word appeared in the field of ecology, we find intellectual practices that hypothesize a system of relations between living populations. Above all, some of these make the link between the organization of living beings and that of knowledge. We think, for example, of the notion of a garden which throughout antiquity up until today has been used as an analogy to reflect upon the human condition in relation to knowledge [HAR 07], or alternatively, to the I Ching, a complex theory that transposed the vicissitude of natural ...

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