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Ecological Informatics and Modelling
Computer models provide essential tools for understanding complex systems, for scaling up results to larger geographical areas, for reconstructing events in the past, and for forecasting developments in the future. Models may improve both our theoretical understanding of ecology and our ability to make good policy and management decisions. Researchers at the Harvard Forest have created or utilized a wide range of models, including models of nutrient dynamics (PnET), forest growth (ED), hurricane wind disturbance (Hurrecon), and future land-use scenarios (Landis).
Ecological informatics is the science of information in ecology. A central problem in this emerging field is the fact that our ability to collect and analyze large datasets (due to recent advances in computer, network, and sensor technologies) has outpaced our ability to document these analyses and to ensure that results are reproducible. The Analytic Web project, a long-term collaboration between ecologists at Harvard Forest and computer scientists at UMass Amherst, is developing methods and tools to address this problem.
Examples of Ecological Informatics & Modeling programs led by the Harvard Forest:
- Changes to the Land: Four Scenarios for the Future of the Massachusetts Landscape
Related Data & Publications
Publications - Published papers from Harvard Forest research related to ecological informatics and modelling.
Datasets - Data and metadata for ecological informatics and modelling at the Forest.
Abstracts for Current Research - Summaries of ongoing ecological informatics and modelling projects at the Forest.