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

Author Biography Preface 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     Problems 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     Problems 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)?     Problems 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     Problems 6. Steady-State Models     6.1 Introduction     6.2 A Chemo state Model to Illustrate a Steady-State Biogeochemical Model          Illustration 6.1     6.3 Ecopath Models     6.4 Ecological Network Analysis     Problems 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     Problems 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     Problems 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 Models for Darwin’s Finches     10.5 Biomanipulation     10.6 An Ecotoxicological Structurally Dynamic Models Example     Problems 11. Spatial Modelling     11.1 Introduction     11.2 Spatial Ecological Models: The Early Days     11.3 Spatial Ecological Models: State-of-the-Art     Problems References Index

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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