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






240 X 197

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

Preface, Third Edition. Acknowledgements.
1. Introduction.
Physical and mathematical models.
Models as a management tool.
Models as a scientific tool.
Models and holism.
The ecosystem as an object for research.
Outline of the book.
The development of ecological and environmental models.
State of the art in the application of models.
2. Concepts of Modelling.
Modelling elements.
The modelling procedure.
Types of model.
Selection of the model type.
Selection of model complexity and structure.
Sensitivity analysis.
Parameter estimation.
Ecological modelling and quantum theory.
Modelling constraints.
3. Ecological Processes.
Space and time resolution.
Mass transport.
Mass balance.
Energetic factors.
Settling and resuspension.
Chemical reactions.
Chemical equilibrium.
Adsorption and ion exchange.
Biogeochemical cycles in aquatic environments.
Algal growth.
Zooplankton growth.
Fish growth.
Single population growth.
Ecotoxicological processes.
4. Conceptual Models.
Application of conceptual diagrams.
Types of conceptual diagrams.
The conceptual diagram as modelling tool.
5. Static Models.
Network models.
Network analysis.
ECOPATH software.
Response models.
6. Modelling Population Dynamics.
Basic concepts.
Growth models in population dynamics.
Interaction between populations.
Matrix models.
7. Dynamic Biogeochemical Models.
Application of dynamic models.
Eutrophication models I: Overview and two simple eutrophication models.
Eutrophication models II: A complex eutrophication model.
A wetland model.
8. Ecotoxicological Models.
Classification and application of ecotoxicological models.
Environmental risk assessment.
Characteristics and structure of ecotoxicological models.
An overview: The application of models in ecotoxicology.
Estimation of ecotoxicological parameters.
Ecotoxicological case study I: Modelling the distribution of chromium in a Danish fjord.
Ecotoxicological case study II: Contamination of agricultural products by cadmium and lead.
Ecotoxicological case study III: A mercury model for Mex Bay, Alexandria.
Fugacity fate models.
9. Recent Developments in Ecological and Environmental Modelling.
Ecosystem characteristics.
Structurally dynamic models.
Four illustrative structurally dynamic case studies.
Application of chaos theory in modelling.
Application of catastrophe theory in ecological modelling.
New approaches in modelling techniques.
Appendix 1. Mathematical Tools.
Square matrices, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
Differential equations.
Systems of differential equations.
Numerical methods.
Appendix 2. Definition of Expressions, Concepts and Indices.
Appendix 3. Parameters for Fugacity Models.
Subject 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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