Models in Ecosystem Science / Edition 1

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Overview

Quantitative models are crucial to almost every area of ecosystem science. They provide a logical structure that guides and informs empirical observations of ecosystem processes. They play a particularly crucial role in synthesizing and integrating our understanding of the immense diversity of ecosystem structure and function. Increasingly, models are being called on to predict the effects of human actions on natural ecosystems. Despite the widespread use of models, there exists intense debate within the field over a wide range of practical and philosophical issues pertaining to quantitative modeling. This book--which grew out of a gathering of leading experts at the ninth Cary Conference--explores those issues.

The book opens with an overview of the status and role of modeling in ecosystem science, including perspectives on the long-running debate over the appropriate level of complexity in models. This is followed by eight chapters that address the critical issue of evaluating ecosystem models, including methods of addressing uncertainty. Next come several case studies of the role of models in environmental policy and management. A section on the future of modeling in ecosystem science focuses on increasing the use of modeling in undergraduate education and the modeling skills of professionals within the field. The benefits and limitations of predictive (versus observational) models are also considered in detail. Written by stellar contributors, this book grants access to the state of the art and science of ecosystem modeling.

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Editorial Reviews

Ecology - Yiqi Luo
In the book, a group of excellent ecologists share with you their experience of working with ecological models, their insights into various modeling issues, and their visions of future directions. . . . Experienced modelers or experimentalists with strong interests in modeling can learn a great deal from this book.
From the Publisher

"In the book, a group of excellent ecologists share with you their experience of working with ecological models, their insights into various modeling issues, and their visions of future directions. . . . Experienced modelers or experimentalists with strong interests in modeling can learn a great deal from this book."--Yiqi Luo, Ecology
Ecology
In the book, a group of excellent ecologists share with you their experience of working with ecological models, their insights into various modeling issues, and their visions of future directions. . . . Experienced modelers or experimentalists with strong interests in modeling can learn a great deal from this book.
— Yiqi Luo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691092898
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/10/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Contributors and Participants
1 Models in Ecosystem Science 1
2 The Role of Quantitative Models in Science 13
3 The Status of Dynamic Quantitative Modeling in Ecology 32
4 The utility of Simple Models in Ecosystem Science 49
5 In Praise of Mechanistically Rich Models 63
6 Modeling for Synthesis and Integration: Forests, People, and Riparian Coarse Woody Debris 83
7 The Role of Models in Prediction for Decision 111
8 Propagation and Analysis of Uncertainty in Ecosystem Models 139
9 Bayesian Approaches in Ecological Analysis and Modeling 168
10 Model Validation and Testing: Past Lessons, Present Concerns, Future Prospects 184
11 Standards of Practice for Review and Publication of Models: Summary of Discussion
12 The Collision of Hypotheses: What Can Be Learned from Comparisons of Ecosystem Models? 211
13 Evaluating and Testing Models of Terrestrial Biogeochemistry: The Role of Temperature in Controlling Decomposition 225
14 Representing Biogeochemical Diversity and Size Spectra in Ecosystem Models of the Ocean Carbon Cycle 254
15 The Mass Balances of Nutrients in Ecosystem Theory and Experiments: Implications for the coexistence of Species 272
16 The Role of Models in Ecosystem Management
17 The Role of Models in Addressing Critical N Loading to Ecosystems 308
18 The Role of Models in Addressing Coastal Eutrophication 327
19 Quantitative Models in Ecological Toxicology: Application in Ecological Risk Assessment 344
20 Effects of Plant Invaders on Nutrient Cycling: Using Models to Explore the Link between Invasion and Development of Species Effects 363
21 Predicting the Ecosystem Effects of Climate Change 385
22 The Role of Modeling in Undergraduate Education 413
23 Increasing Modeling Savvy: Strategies to Advance Quantitative Modeling Skills for Professionals within Ecology
24 The Limits to Models in Ecology 437
25 The Need for Fast-and-Frugal Models 455
26 On the Benefits and Limitations of Prediction 461
27 A Community-Wide Investment in Modeling 466
Index 471
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