|balance of nature|
|the stable state in which natural communities of animals and plants exist, maintained by adaptation, competition, and other interactions between members of the communit ies and their nonliving environment|
A concept in ecology that describes natural systems as being in a state of equilibrium, in which disturbing one element disturbs the entire system. The inference is usually drawn that the natural state of any system is the preferred state and that it is best to leave it undisturbed. Modern ecologists no longer believe that a balance of nature exists.