Conference publications


XXIV conference

The use of keystone species concept in general economy

Kilyachkov N.A.

MGIMO (U) MID RF, Chair of Economics, Vernadsky prospect, 76, Moscow, 119454, Russia, Tel.: (916)578-02-64, E-mail:

2 pp. (accepted)

One of the most important concepts in the modern ecology is the concept of keystone species [1]. Humans drive complex interaction chains by affecting other keystone actors across different habitats. This requires innovative approaches that would integrate the study of human behavior with food-web theory.

The subject-matter of economics is the choice of alternative uses of scarce means. Similar situations of choice occur in nature. Consequently, biology and economics could be regarded as parts of a more comprehensive discipline: universal or general economy [2, 3].

A possible approach in general economy is studying biological and economic systems within the same models. In this case, biological systems are regarded as acting subjects [4]. Either separate populations or whole ecosystems could be considered as such acting subjects. The second option was chosen by the author in creating the model of competitive interaction in utilizing a scarce resource [5] which was adapted to modelling interaction of economic subjects and an ecosystem and tested by the way of retrospective analysis.

The concept of keystone species suggests a third variant of such modelling. Three approaches to depicting trophic relationships are possible [6]: the connectedness web, the energy flow web, and the functional web. The use of the third approach in the model of competitive interaction allows considering as counter-agents only those species who are engaged in strong, controlling interactions. As a result, we achieve a substantial simplification of the model without a loss in its accuracy.


1. Paine R.T. A note on trophic complexity and community stability // The American naturalist Vol. 103, No. 929, 1969. Pp. 91-93.

2. Ghiselin M. T. The economy of the body // The American Economic Review Vol. 68, No. 2, 1978. Pp. 233-237.

3. Hirshleifer J. Natural economy versus political economy // Journal of Social and Biological Structures Vol. 1, issue 4, 1978. Pp. 319-337.

4. Kilyachkov N.A. Biological associations as economic subjects // Vestnik MGIMO-University No. 1 (40), 2015. Pp. 144-152.

5. Kilyachkov N.A. Model of competitive interaction in utilizing limited resources // Finance and credit No. 47 (575), 2013. Pp. 51-57.

6. Paine R.T. Linkage, interaction strength and community infrastructure // The Journal of Animal Ecology Vol. 49, No. 3, 1980. Pp. 666-685.

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