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Ecological Modelling: An Introduction


208 pages, illustrations

WIT Press

Hardback | Sep 2009 | #206212 | ISBN-13: 9781845644086
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About this book

Ecological Modelling: An Introduction is a textbook tailored for the last year of a bachelor study or the first year of a master study. Ecological Modelling is a very powerful tool in environmental management and ecological research and a course in ecological modelling ought therefore to be compulsory for all studies focusing on environmental management, environmental sciences and ecology. Ecological modelling requires both an introduction to the basic theory and practical computer exercises in the development of models.

To facilitate the exercises, Ecological Modelling: An Introduction presents several illustrations, where an ecological modelling problem or task is presented and the solution is then given in detail. Several exercises are presented after each chapter, but the best exercises are of course that the students develop their own models focusing on problems that they have formulated and have particular interest to solve. The basic theory of ecological modelling is covered by the first seven chapters of the textbook, including 'how to go modelling' and an overview of the various model types applicable in ecological modelling.

The following five chapters present details about the development and application of the five most applied model types in ecological modelling: bio-geo-chemical models, population dynamic models, ecotoxicological models, spatial models and structurally dynamic models. For all five types, detailed and illustrative examples are presented. The examples are chosen to give the readers sufficient information to facilitate the development of their own model of the same type.


Chapter 1: Ecological models Why go modelling?; History of ecological modelling; Modelling components; Modelling procedure; Selection of model complexity; Model uncertainty; Mediated modelling
Chapter 2: Model types Classification of models; Model types - an overview; Characteristics of the model types; Applicability of the different model types
Chapter 3: Biogeochemical models Biogeochemical and bioenergetic models have wide applications; A chemo-state model to illustrate a steady state biogeochemical model; An eutrophication model based on 2-4 state variables and statistic correlations to find additional state variables; An eutrophication model of medium to high complexity; Model of subsurface wetland; River models
Chapter 4: Population dynamic models Introduction; Basic concepts; Growth models in population dynamics; Interaction between populations; Matrix models; Metapopulation models; Modelling infectious diseases
Chapter 5: Ecotoxicological models Introduction; Five classes of ecotoxicological models; The application of parameter estimation methods in ecotoxicological modelling; Biogeochemical and ecotoxicological model example: contamination of an agricultural field; Uptake of toxic substances by plants
Chapter 6: Spatial models Introduction; 2D and 3D models; An example of distance as independent variable: chromium pollution in a Danish Fjord; Application of GIS; Use of cellular automata or lattice models in spatial modelling; Surface modelling; Use of IBM in research: determination of the role of conjugation in the evolution
Chapter 7: Structurally dynamic models (SDMs) Basic concepts of structurally dynamic modelling; Ecosystem characteristics; The thermodynamic concept of eco-exergy; Structurally dynamic models; Development of SDM for Darwin's finches; Model of the ectoparasites-birds interactions; A structurally dynamic eutrophication model developed by use of STELLA; SDM developed for Lake Fure

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Sven Jorgensen is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Pharmaceutics and Analytical Chemistry in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research interests include Systems ecology, Ecological modeling, Ecological engineering, Environmental science, and Environmental management of aquatic systems. He is the author of Eco-Exergy as Sustainability (published by WIT Press in 2006) and has written or co-authored numerous papers in his field. He has also served as Editor in chief for the Encyclopedia of Ecology (2004), as Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Modelling (1974), and as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ohio State University (1991).

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