Canadian Forest Service Publications

Integrated modelling software platform development for effective use of ecosystem models. 2014. Larocque, G.R.; Bhatti, J.; Arsenault, A. Ecol. Model. 288:195-202.

Year: 2014

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35582

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.06.011

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Ecological modelling is increasing in importance to facilitate the development of sustainable management planning of terrestrial ecosystems and integrate social and economic objectives. As models have becomemore complex and include many state variables, modelling software platforms have been developed to support development projects. However, few modelling software platforms integrate software components or applications to facilitate the interpretation of simulation results. Recent advances in computing technology and the increasing availability of free or open-source software allow the efficient integration of different software applications to support modelling development efforts and analysis of simulation results. The application AMSIMOD (“Application for the Management of SImulation MODels”), which was developed to manage the ZELIG-CFS gap model, is introduced as an example of an integrated modelling software platform to facilitate and analyze simulation results with the Stand Visualization System and the Quantum GIS geographic information system. Future advancements in the development of this type of modelling platform are discussed. Typical frameworks for model management and analytical applications should have the capacity to manage several models and simulation results at different spatial scales and the ability to generate management scenarios. Also, end users should have access to various types of reporting tools and analytical and numerical processing utilities.

Plain Language Summary

Simulation models of ecosystem dynamics are used, among other things, to predict the impacts of disturbances on forest ecosystems and to meet the expectations of the general public in terms of sustainable development. The use of these models is becoming increasingly complex. To simplify their use, researchers have developed a software program called AMSIMOD (Application for the Management of SImulation MODels). This model management software is used to analyze simulation results, among other applications.

This study presents potential developments for this type of software including the development of utilities for managing the execution of several models simultaneously, the integration of utilities to perform complex analyses of simulation results and the use of artificial intelligence algorithms to generate management scenarios.