'Ecological informatics' can be successfully applied to any complex ecological problem, but it may be really effective in case data are more abundant or reliable than theoretical knowledge.

In ecological modeling, for instance, methods which stem from 'ecological informatics' should be applied (but not exclusively) when many variables are involved in the system being modeled, when some of those variables are not precisely accounted for, when they are categorical or nominal, or when nonlinear effects and/or interaction between variables are suspected to occur.

In general, 'ecological informatics' can play a relevant role when there is not enough theory to explain the dynamics of a system or the relationships between its components. This is the case, for instance, in most studies based on a bottom-up approach.

Finally, 'ecological informatics' provides several methods that are particularly useful in empirical modeling applications, that is, when one or more variables whose measurements are expensive and time consuming, information can be accurately estimated on the basis of other variables, which are cheaper and easier to measure. A typical application of this approach is in remote sensing and in the calibration of instrumental measures.

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