Life and the five biological laws. Lessons for global change models and sustainability

Josep Penuelas, Dennis Baldocchi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    © 2019 Elsevier B.V. Life on Earth is the result of a continuous accumulation of information by combination and innovation using endo- (inside the organism) and exosomatic (outside the organism) energy. Sustenance occurs through cycles of life and death. We here define five life laws for these vital processes. These processes cannot exceed natural limits of size and rates because they are constrained by space, matter and energy; biology builds on what is possible within these physicochemical limits. Learning from the way nature deals with the accumulation of information, the limits of size and the rates at which life can acquire and expend energy and resources for maintenance, growth and competition will help us to model and manage our environmental future and sustainability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-14
    JournalEcological Complexity
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


    • Combination
    • Discontinuous destruction
    • Endosomatic energy
    • Energy flow
    • Environmental management
    • Exosomatic energy
    • Information
    • Innovation
    • Learning from nature
    • Natural limits
    • Physical ecology


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