1. Introduction. Physical and mathematical models. Models as a management tool. Models as a scientific tool. 2. Concepts of Modelling. Elements of modelling. Modelling procedure. Classes of ecological models. Selection of model complexity and structure. Verification. Sensitivity analysis. Parameter estimation. Validation. Constraints on models. Computers and ecological modelling. 3. Ecological Modelling. Application of unit processes in ecological modelling. Physical processes. Chemical processes. Photosynthesis. 4. Conceptual Models. Application of conceptual models. Types of conceptual diagrams. The conceptual diagram as a modelling tool. 5. Static Models. Application of static models. Input/output environ analysis. Response models. 6. Modelling Population Dynamics. Basic concepts. Growth models. Interactions between population. Matrix models. Harvest models. 7. Dynamic Biogeochemical Models. Application of dynamic models. BOD/DO models. Application of hydrodynamics in biogeochemical models. Eutrophication models. Wetland models. Models in ecotoxicology. Models in toxicology. Distribution of air pollutants. Models of soil processes, plant growth and crop production. 8. Application of Ecological Models in Environmental Management. Environmental management models. Environmental problems and models. Management examples. 9. Ecosystems Characteristics and Models. Characteristic features of ecosystems. Ecosystem dynamics. Ecological models with goal functions. Application of catastrophe theory to ecological modelling. References. Index.
Very few books have been published to-date which provide an introduction to the topic of ecological modelling. Although many have been published on ecological modelling itself, it was necessary for the reader to already have an understanding of the field, or at least some experience in the development of ecological models, in order for him/her to be able to make full use of them. This easy-to-understand book aims to bridge this gap. The reader needs only an understanding of the fundamentals of environmental problems and ecology, although it is assumed that he/she has a fundamental knowledge of differential equations and matrix calculations.
This monograph provides on the one hand an overview of the field and on the other an opportunity for the reader to develop his/her own models. The book discusses the modelling procedure in detail and gives a step-by-step presentation of the development of models. Advantages and shortcomings of each step are discussed and simple examples are used to illustrate all the steps. Most model types are presented by use of theory, overview tables on applications, complexity, examples and illustrations. Both simple and complex models are described. As the presentation of a complex model is rather space consuming, only the characteristic features and problems of the most complex models are given. The alternative would have been to present fewer models, but this would not have given the reader an idea of the wide spectrum of models available today.
As the individual chapters can to a certain extent stand independently, the volume can be used as a reference book for any course in ecological modelling. It will also be suitable for biologists, engineers and ecologists working with such models.
- © Elsevier Science 1986
- 1st October 1986
- Elsevier Science
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