Almost all ecosystems have been modeled. Table 5 gives an overview of the modeling effort for different ecosystems using the following scale: 5 indicates a very intensive modeling effort - more than 100 different model approaches can be found in the literature; 4 indicates intensive modeling effort - 25-100 different modeling approaches can be found in the literature; 3 indicates some modeling effort - 10-15 references in the literature can be found; 2 indicates that
Table 4 Model type applicable to different problems/systems
Distribution of matter or energy3 Development of populations3 Toxic compounds: distribution and effect Individuality important Structural changes may occur Forcing functions and/or processes stochastic Spatial distribution important
Biogeochemical/bioenergetic dynamic models Population dynamic models Ecotoxicological models
Structurally dynamic models Stochastic models
Spatial models aANN could also be applied if causality is less important and optimum data utilization is important. Hybrid models may be applied to combine causality with good data utilization.
Table 5 Modeling effort, ecosystem classification
Estuaries, fjords Wetlands Coastal zones Grasslands Open sea Agriculture lands Forests Savannas Coral reefs Arctic ecosystems Deserts
Deep sea ecosystems Mountain land above timberline only a few models have been developed - 4-10 models can be found in the literature; and 1 indicates that only 1-3 models have been published. The classification is based on a review of the journal Ecological Modelling, volumes 1-200. Statistics has revealed that this scientific journal covers 40-45% of all published models.
Table 3 Model types applicable to different data sets
Description of data set
Model type recommended
High quality, homogeneous High quality, heterogeneous Only typical or average values Uncertain data No data, only rules Important to utilize data set
Biogeochemical/bioenergetic dynamic models; or population dynamic models ANN
Static models Fuzzy models
Fuzzy models, rule-based models ANN
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