Soybean (Glycine max) is sensitive to flooding stress, and flood damage at the seedling stage is a barrier to growth. We constructed two mathematical models of the soybean metabolic network, a control model and a flooded model, from metabolic profiles in soybean plants. We simulated the metabolic profiles with perturbations before and after the flooding stimulus using the two models. We measured the variation of state that the system could maintain from a state–space description of the simulated profiles. The results showed a loss of variation of state during the flooding response in the soybean plants. Loss of variation of state was also observed in a human myelomonocytic leukaemia cell transcriptional network in response to a phorbol-ester stimulus. Thus, we detected a loss of variation of state under external stimuli in two biological systems, regardless of the regulation and stimulus types. Our results suggest that a loss of robustness may occur concurrently with the loss of variation of state in biological systems. We describe the possible applications of the quantity of variation of state in plant genetic engineering and cell biology. Finally, we present a hypothetical “external stimulus-induced information loss” model of biological systems.