The notion of digital ecosystem has become a fruitful metaphor for examining the contemporary effects of digitalization across boundaries of organization, industry, lifeworld, mind, and body. In economic terms, the metaphor has inspired IS research into new kinds of business constellations while, in engineering terms, it has led to important insights into the design and governance of digital platforms. Approaching digital ecosystems studies in these terms, however, makes it difficult to trace and explain those effects of digitalization, which do not materialize predominantly in economic and engineering patterns. Hence, important relationships and their effects may go unnoticed. In response, I draw on the ecological epistemology of Gregory Bateson to complement economic and engineering approaches with an ecological understanding of digital ecosystems. Such an understanding, I argue, expands the possibilities for tracing and explaining the wide reaching, boundary crossing effects of digitalization and the runaway dynamics they may lead to. I suggest to do this based on three tenets of ecological thinking: (1) part-of-ness – phenomena are to be observed as always part of a larger ecosystem; (2) systemic wisdom – ecosystems have limits, which need to be respected; and (3) information ecosystems – ecosystems are not mechanical but informational, cognitive systems. As my contribution, I propose six avenues for future IS research into digital ecology, examining digital ecosystems as actual rather than metaphorical ecological systems.