Forest disturbance in a changing world

To model or not to model?

Thoughts on ecosystem modeling as a powerful tool to answer current questions in ecology, published in a perspectives paper in Ecosystems.

Are you a modeler? Or are you a field ecologist? In a recent perspectives paper in Ecosystems I argue that this distinction should be of the past, and that both modeling and field methods should be part of the arsenal of 21st century ecologists. In the paper I give both practical and theoretical reasons for integrating modeling more deeply into ecosystem research. Empirical research has epistemological priority over modeling, however, that is, for models to realize their full potential, and for modelers to wield this power wisely, empirical research is of fundamental importance.

The paper is part of an amazing collection of contributions on the state-of-the-art in ecosystem modeling, which was commissioned to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the journal Ecosystems. Here is an editorial overview of the special issue that nicely serves as a gateway to the individual contributions.

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Written by rupert on Friday November 18, 2016

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