microcosm

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microcosm

(mī′krə-kŏz′əm)
n.
A small, representative system having analogies to a larger system in constitution, configuration, or development: "He sees the auto industry as a microcosm of the U.S. itself" (William J. Hampton).

mi′cro·cos′mic (-kŏz′mĭk), mi′cro·cos′mi·cal (-mĭ-kəl) adj.
mi′cro·cos′mi·cal·ly adv.

microcosm

  1. an entity which is a miniature version of a more common, extensive whole.
  2. a controlled laboratory system that contains the necessary components of the ECOSYSTEM being studied. Microcosms are designed to simulate natural systems, but are likely to be simplified versions of such systems and thus may exclude or alter certain of the processes that occur naturally A microcosm may represent a portion of a natural system, that has been brought into the laboratory with the INDIGENOUS ORGANISMS and processes relatively undisturbed. Alternatively, a microcosm may be constructed in the laboratory as a simpler representation of the natural system, so that certain biological factors can be studied. The limitations of any particular microcosm must be fully understood when interpreting the results obtained from it.
References in periodicals archive ?
We are unaware of data that demonstrate that microcosms produce misleading results.
Moreover, the microcosm approach acts directly on the levers that influence return on capital, namely revenues, costs, and capital employed.
It is more important to ask: Under what conditions are microcosms a reliable model?
We followed in this tradition of using microcosms to test the different hypothetical relationships between consumer diversity and standing autotrophic biomass made by the three different perspectives in ecology.
We argue that this inherent complexity in nature is what makes the use of laboratory microcosms both desirable, valid, and indeed necessary.
Insightful research is likely to consider a range of different scales, including microcosms (Levin 1992).
Although these microcosms are very simplified systems with respect to soil composition (the mineral component is lacking), biotic composition (strongly reduced biodiversity, no root system), and microclimate, they have been shown to be very useful in the study of decomposition and nutrient mobilization.
We had noted that these samples contained different numbers of parasitized resident nematodes, and we hypothesized that, when an alternative host (an "assay nematode") was added to the soil in microcosms, the percentage of assay nematodes parasitized would be correlated with the number of parasitized resident nematodes.
Small "arena" or "cafeteria" microcosms are used to establish food sources, feeding mode, and feeding preferences (Visser and Whittacker 1977, Moore et al.
Microcosms were placed in randomized order in a test tube rack, which was kept on a shaded laboratory bench.
Scott argues that the disciplines of contemporary ecology and Romantic literature (and, by implicit extension, literary studies) are mutually discursive: "The seed of imagination that would enable a scientist to study a lake as a microcosm at the formal, empirical level was sown by poets of the nineteenth century who consciously drew a sphere around small-scale nature in order to make sense of spots of time and place amid the increasingly chaotic global, industrial modern world" (4).
Methane oxidation kinetics varied greatly in soil microcosms amended with different substrates (Fig.