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Title: Ecological modeling guide for ecosystem and management
Authors: Swannick, Todd M.
Fischenich, J. Craig
Tazik, David J.
Keywords: Conceptual models
Ecological models
Ecosystem restoration and management
Environmental benefits
Quantitative modeling
Environmental Benefits Analysis Program
Issue Date: Aug-2012
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: ERDC/EL ; TR-12-18.
Description: Technical report
Ecological models are important tools for planning ecosystem restoration and management activities. Models help to organize thinking, conceptualize understanding of complex systems, and forecast environmental benefits that may result from proposed restoration and management actions. This report provides information to guide environmental planers in selection, development, evaluation, and documentation of ecological models. A number of critical issues are addressed, including specifying objectives and formulating a sound conceptual model, choosing among types of models, deciding when to develop a new model, systematically evaluating the quantitative model, addressing parameter and model uncertainty, developing sections of the model through iteration, analyzing alternatives, and documenting results. Quantitative modeling is shown to be a dynamic process that is best served using an iterative approach. In practice, individual parts of a conceptual model are quantified and evaluated in a stepwise fashion until the entire model is captured quantitatively. This iterative approach creates transparency in model development, which can remove the “black-box” stigma that has been associated with the use of models in the environmental sciences.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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