Author(s): S.E. Jørgensen & T.-S. Chon
w of the model types available for
Jørgensen1 & T.-S.
1Environmental Chemistry, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2Division of Biological Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan (Pusan),
Republic of Korea.
1 Issues in model development
The take off in ecological modelling occurred in the early 1970s.
In this period, ecological models
were increasingly used as a computation tool for ecosystem managements, while the journal
Ecological Modelling was timely published to meet various requirements of model development.
At that time, there were mainly only three model types, population dynamic models with age
structure, biogeochemical models based on differential equations and static models to describe
an extreme or average situation in the system.
Occasionally, variations of these model types or
even hybrids of two types were also developed for special problems.
Today, models have been greatly improved in various ways in terms of both methodology and
Computation techniques emerge step by step to meet the needs for solving more
complex problems presented in ecological processes.
Direction of the model development can be
addressed in a series of key issues as listed below :
Spatial presentation: In accordance with development of computational techniques and
improvement in data collection in ecology, spatial distribution of the variables has drawn a
strong attention from the model users.
Spatial information is efficient in elucidating ecological
processes in more realistic ways, providing an extra dimension in addressing dynamics
of the variables for the model users (e.g.
when and where the invading species would
outbreak? or how the pollution effects would disperse in ecosystems?).
How can we address
the problems regarding the spatial distribution which is often crucial to understanding the
Individuality: Ecosystems are middle number systems  in the sense that the number of
components are in the magnitudes smaller than the number of atoms in a system.
that individuals could be generated and would be modelled as independent agents in
As is well known, all the biological components in ecosystems are different in
This difference in components (i.e.
individual variability) is often important
for a proper description of the ecosystem reactions.
In addition, emergent or collective
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Paper DOI: 10.2495/978-1-84564-207-5/02
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