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web of lifeNetz des Lebens (ger.)

  • The interaction of various organisms (of different species) to form one coherent (ecological) system.  

    [Qui vel maxime ad ea animum advertit, quæ in Globo nostro Terraqueo occurunt, is ultro fateatur, necesse est, omnia & singula ea serie & nexu inter se esse ordinata, ut ad eundem findem ultimum collineent.

    Linné, C. von (1749). Oeconomia naturae: 1-2.]


    There are species more numerous than ours. This appears to be the case with those insects whose immense swarms seem to convert the elements they inhabit into one continued web of life, and in whose nature the vital fire burns with no less vigor than in our own.

    Bruckner, J. (1768). A Philosophical Survey of the Animal Creation: 12-3; cf. Worster, D. (1977/94). Nature’s Economy. A History of Ecological Ideas: 47-8.


    [cet immense réseau qui constitue la nature organisée

    Cuvier, G. & Valenciennes, A. (1828). Histoire naturelle des poissons, vol. 1: 420.]


    [All nature is bound together by an inextricable web of relations; if some forms become changed make progress, those which are not modified or may be said to lag behind, will sooner or later perish

    Darwin, C. [1856-58]. Natural Selection (ed. by R.C. Stauffer, 1975): 272; cf. Stauffer, R.C. (1960). Ecology in the long manuscript version of Darwin’s Origin of Species and Linnaeus’ Oeconomy of Nature. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 104, 235-241: 236.]


    [plants and animals, most remote in the scale of nature, are bound together by a web of complex relations.

    Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species: 73.]


    The ecological web of life is so closely netted that when transmutation of species results in the origin of a new one, a new problem is created.

    de Beer, G. (1960). Darwin’s notebooks on transmutation of species, part IV, Fourth notebook [E] (October 1838-10 July 1839). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Historical Series 2 (5), 151-183: 155.


    Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

    Perry, T. [1971]. [Script for Home, a 1972 film about ecology]; cf. Chief Seattle. Snopes. Sept. 26, 2007.


    Dem immer brutaler werdenden »Raubtier Mensch« das Wissen vom »Netz des Lebens« entgegenzusetzen.

    Grober, U. (1998). Ausstieg in die Zukunft: 16.