Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling

Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling, 4th Edition

Applications in Environmental Management and Research

Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling, 4th Edition,S.E. Jorgensen,ISBN9780444535672






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Ecological Modeling, 4e, provides professionals with an overview of the most common ecological model types used today as well as the practical how-to methods for creating effective models in research and management situations.

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Key Features

  • Presents the most commonly used model types with a step-by-step outline of the modeling procedure used for each
  • Shows readers through an illustrated example of how to use each model in research and management settings
  • New edition is revised to include only essential theory with a focus on applications
  • Includes case studies, illustrations, and exercises (case study of an ecological problem with full illustration on how to solve the problem)


Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling: Applications in Environmental Management and Research, Fourth Edition, provides a comprehensive discussion of the fundamental principles of ecological modeling. The first two editions of this book (published in 1986 and 1994) focused on the roots of the discipline the four main model types that dominated the field 30-40 years ago: (1) dynamic biogeochemical models; (2) population dynamic models; (3) ecotoxicological models; and (4) steady-state biogeochemical and energy models. The third edition focused on the mathematical formulations of ecological processes that are included in ecological models. This fourth edition uses the four model types previously listed as the foundation and expands the latest model developments in spatial models, structural dynamic models, and individual-based models. As these seven types of models are very different and require different considerations in the model development phase, a separate chapter is devoted to the development of each of the model types. Throughout the text, the examples given from the literature emphasize the application of models for environmental management and research.


Ecologists and environmental scientists interested in modeling and Ph.D. students with little or no modeling background. Graduate students in ecology and environmental science programs.

S.E. Jorgensen

Affiliations and Expertise

DFH, Miljokemi, Copenhagen, Denmark

View additional works by S.E. Jorgensen

Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling, 4th Edition

Series Editors

Author Biography



1: Introduction

1.1. Physical and Mathematical Models

1.2. Models as a Management Tool

1.3. Models as a Research Tool

1.4. Models and Holism

1.5. The Ecosystem as an Object for Research

1.6. The Development of Ecological and Environmental Models

1.7. State of the Art in the Application of Models

2: Concepts of Modelling

2.1. Introduction

2.2. Modelling Elements

2.3. The Modelling Procedure

2.4. Verification

2.5. Sensitivity Analysis

2.6. Calibration

2.7. Validation and Assessment of the Model Uncertainty

2.8. Model Classes

2.9. Selection of Model Complexity and Structure

2.10. Parameter Estimation

2.11. Ecological Modelling and Quantum Theory

2.12. Modelling Constraints


3: An Overview of Different Model Types

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Model Types — An Overview

3.3. Conceptual Models

3.4. Advantages and Disadvantages of the Most Applied Model Types

3.5. Applicability of the Different Model Types

4: Mediated or Institutionalized Modelling

4.1. Introduction: Why Do We Need Mediated Modelling?

4.2. The Institutionalized Modelling Process

4.3. When Do You Apply Institutionalized or Mediated Modelling (IMM)?


5: Modelling Population Dynamics

5.1. Introduction

5.2. Basic Concepts

5.3. Growth Models in Population Dynamics

Illustration 5.1

5.4. Interaction Between Populations

Illustration 5.2

Illustration 5.3

5.5. Matrix Models

Illustration 5.4

5.6. Fishery Models

5.7. Metapopulation Models

5.8. Infection Models


6: Steady-State Models

6.1. Introduction

6.2. A Chemostat Model to Illustrate a Steady-State Biogeochemical Model

Illustration 6.1

6.3. Ecopath Models

6.4. Ecological Network Analysis


7: Dynamic Biogeochemical Models

7.1. Introduction

7.2. Application of Biogeochemical Dynamic Models

7.3. The Streeter-Phelps River BOD/DO Model, Using STELLA

7.4. Eutrophication Models I: Simple Eutrophication Models with 2–4 State Variables

7.5. Eutrophication Models II: A Complex Eutrophication Model

7.6. Model of Subsurface Wetland

7.7. Global Warming Model


Appendix 1

8: Ecotoxicological Models

8.1. Classification and Application of Ecotoxicological Models

8.2. Environmental Risk Assessment

8.3. Characteristics and Structure of Ecotoxicological Models

8.4. An Overview: The Application of Models in Ecotoxicology

8.5. Estimation of Ecotoxicological Parameters

8.6. Ecotoxicological Case Study I: Modelling the Distribution of Chromium in a Danish Fjord

8.7. Ecotoxicological Case Study II: Contamination of Agricultural Products by Cadmium and Lead

8.8. Fugacity Fate Models

Illustration 8.1

Illustration 8.2

9: Individual-Based Models

9.1. History of Individual-Based Models

9.2. Designing Individual-Based Models

9.3. Emergent versus Imposed Behaviors

9.4. Orientors

9.5. Implementing Individual-Based Models

9.6. Pattern-Oriented Modelling

9.7. Individual-Based Models for Parameterizing Models

9.8. Individual-Based Models and Spatial Models

9.9. Example

9.10. Conclusions


10: Structurally Dynamic Models

10.1. Introduction

10.2. Ecosystem Characteristics

10.3. How to Construct Structurally Dynamic Models and Definitions of Exergy and Eco-exergy

10.4. Development of Structurally Dynamic Model for Darwin’s Finches

10.5. Biomanipulation

10.6. An Ecotoxicological Structurally Dynamic Models Example


11: Spatial Modelling

11.1. Introduction

11.2. Spatial Ecological Models: The Early Days

11.3. Spatial Ecological Models: State-of-the-Art




Quotes and reviews

@qu:Reviews of the previous edition: [Ecological modelling] is obviously a huge area, and this book, which is both an overview and a how-to guide, covers an enormous amount of it.
@source:Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters
@qu:Excellent synoptique.
@source:Information Eaux
@qu:...this book will be an invaluable source of information for a variety of engineers and ecologists, who have a mathematical background and may wish to gain an introduction to the rapidly growing field of ecological and environmental modelling. This book will also be very adequate for courses on this subject.
@source:International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
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