Introduction

This article presents an overview of ecosystem modeling approaches that are commonly employed in marine modeling studies, focusing on pelagic ecosystem and lower trophic level (e.g., plankton) interactions. The first section reviews ecosystem and biogeochemical modeling, focusing on model formulations and representation of export, grazing, bacteria/dissolved organic matter (DOM), and multiple limiting nutrients. Incorporation of biogeochem-ical functional groups, benthic pelagic coupling, and nutrient and sediment loading are also discussed. The first section is concluded with a brief discussion of ecosystem models that have been developed for simulating higher trophic level interactions, in particular for fisheries management applications. The second section is a general review of how coupled biological-physical models have been applied over a wide range of scales and some of the questions that they have been used to address. These include global to coastal and estuarine applications. Two additional sections discuss the general issue of model complexity and how this can impact predictive skill and the influence of the physical model framework on ecosystem model response.

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