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Conceptual Ecological Modeling
March, 24th 2017
Science In Depth:
Conceptual ecological models are considered a key element of environmental and biological monitoring programs, and provide a qualitative representation of the structure and dynamic properties of the ecosystem. Models define scope and provide a scientific framework for monitoring programs by describing current understanding of system structure, processes, and function, including key system components and their interactions. Models provide a method to integrate current knowledge of the system originating from a variety of data sources, such us multiple long term studies focusing on different species or components of the system. Models provide critical tools to address uncertainties or incomplete understanding of ecosystem function, and provide the basis for development of causal hypotheses among environmental or anthropogenic stressors, ecological effects, and management actions. Conceptual models provide a schematic framework to organize and illustrate complex system structure and linkages, serving as a communication tool among scientists, managers, and the public. Our
project is funded by the EVOS Trustee Council.