Simulation Modeling in Ecosystem Science
Successes, Limitations, and Frontiers in Ecosystem Science
Ecosystem science has lost its past close connection to simulation modeling. At the inception of the field, simulation was viewed as a crucial technology to provide organization and integration. The small role that simulation modeling played in the 1997 Cary Conference, which was organized to highlight the past successes and future challenges in ecosystem science, was the impetus for this chapter. The key underlying assumption of our analysis is that simulation modeling represents one of the most powerful tools available to ecosystem scientists. This is particularly true with respect to the role that the scientific community is expecting ecosystem science to play in the analysis of problems associated with global change. Our objective for this chapter was to address the following four questions about the role of simulation modeling in ecosystem science:
- What role could or should simulation modeling play in ecosystem science?
How has the relationship between ecosystem science and simulation modeling evolved over the past few decades, and what are some examples of successes in that relationship?
- How has the use of simulation models in ecosystem science been limited, and what factors have contributed to those limitations?
How might simulation models contribute to advances in ecosystem science in the future?
© 1998 Springer-Verlag
Lauenroth, W. K., Canham C., Kinzig A., Poiani K., Kemp W., and Running S. W. Simulation Modeling in Ecosystem Science in Successes, Limitations, and Frontiers in Ecosystem Science edited by M.L. Pace and P.M. Groffman. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1998, pp. 404-415.
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