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An Environment for Developing Individual-Based Ecological Simulations
Heather May
Committee: John Conery
Bachelors Thesis(Jun 2001)
Keywords: Ecological Simulations

Computational modeling of ecological processes can provide a method for performing controlled experiments and evaluating the effects of disturbance on ecosystem health. However, the large number of biological and computational challenges associated with the development of realistic ecological models has prevented their use as tools for environmental management decisions. The creation of an ecosystem modeling environment could facilitate the widespread development of ecological models by helping researchers mange the large number of significant challenges in the formulation and implantation of this type of model. This paper describes an environment for developing forest simulation model (named FOREST), which implements a subset of features desired in a complete ecological modeling environment. FOREST was able to simplify the process of developing forest simulation models by providing the main time advance algorithm and reusable components to define behavior of the objects in the model. If FOREST was extended into a full ecological modeling environment, modelers could focus on implementing the biological components and determining the appropriate level of detail for their simulations.