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Article: Modelling ecological systems in a changing world

TitleModelling ecological systems in a changing world
Authors
KeywordsPhenomenological models
Systems biology
Ecological forecasts
Environmental change
Global climate models (GCMs)
Philosophy of modelling
Issue Date2012
Citation
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012, v. 367, n. 1586, p. 181-190 How to Cite?
AbstractThe world is changing at an unprecedented rate. In such a situation, we need to understand the nature of the change and to make predictions about the way in which it might affect systems of interest; often we may also wish to understand what might be done to mitigate the predicted effects. In ecology, we usually make such predictions (or forecasts) by making use of mathematical models that describe the system and projecting them into the future, under changed conditions. Approaches emphasizing the desirability of simple models with analytical tractability and those that use assumed causal relationships derived statistically from data currently dominate ecological modelling. Although such models are excellent at describing the way in which a system has behaved, they are poor at predicting its future state, especially in novel conditions. In order to address questions about the impact of environmental change, and to understand what, if any, action might be taken to ameliorate it, ecologists need to develop the ability to project models into novel, future conditions. This will require the development of models based on understanding the processes that result in a system behaving the way it does, rather than relying on a description of the system, as a whole, remaining valid indefinitely. © 2011 The Royal Society.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/230883
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 5.847
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.659

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorEvans, Matthew R.-
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-01T06:07:04Z-
dc.date.available2016-09-01T06:07:04Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012, v. 367, n. 1586, p. 181-190-
dc.identifier.issn0962-8436-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/230883-
dc.description.abstractThe world is changing at an unprecedented rate. In such a situation, we need to understand the nature of the change and to make predictions about the way in which it might affect systems of interest; often we may also wish to understand what might be done to mitigate the predicted effects. In ecology, we usually make such predictions (or forecasts) by making use of mathematical models that describe the system and projecting them into the future, under changed conditions. Approaches emphasizing the desirability of simple models with analytical tractability and those that use assumed causal relationships derived statistically from data currently dominate ecological modelling. Although such models are excellent at describing the way in which a system has behaved, they are poor at predicting its future state, especially in novel conditions. In order to address questions about the impact of environmental change, and to understand what, if any, action might be taken to ameliorate it, ecologists need to develop the ability to project models into novel, future conditions. This will require the development of models based on understanding the processes that result in a system behaving the way it does, rather than relying on a description of the system, as a whole, remaining valid indefinitely. © 2011 The Royal Society.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences-
dc.subjectPhenomenological models-
dc.subjectSystems biology-
dc.subjectEcological forecasts-
dc.subjectEnvironmental change-
dc.subjectGlobal climate models (GCMs)-
dc.subjectPhilosophy of modelling-
dc.titleModelling ecological systems in a changing world-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1098/rstb.2011.0172-
dc.identifier.pmid22144381-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-82755165260-
dc.identifier.volume367-
dc.identifier.issue1586-
dc.identifier.spage181-
dc.identifier.epage190-
dc.identifier.eissn1471-2970-

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