A community-based framework for aquatic ecosystem models
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Here, we communicate a point of departure in the development of aquatic ecosystem models, namely a new community-based framework, which supports an enhanced and transparent union between the collective expertise that exists in the communities of traditional ecologists and model developers. Through a literature survey, we document the growing importance of numerical aquatic ecosystem models while also noting the difficulties, up until now, of the aquatic scientific community to make significant advances in these models during the past two decades. Through a common forum for aquatic ecosystem modellers we aim to (i) advance collaboration within the aquatic ecosystem modelling community, (ii) enable increased use of models for research, policy and ecosystem-based management, (iii) facilitate a collective framework using common (standardised) code to ensure that model development is incremental, (iv) increase the transparency of model structure, assumptions and techniques, (v) achieve a greater understanding of aquatic ecosystem functioning, (vi) increase the reliability of predictions by aquatic ecosystem models, (vii) stimulate model inter-comparisons including differing model approaches, and (viii) avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel’, thus accelerating improvements to aquatic ecosystem models. We intend to achieve this as a community that fosters interactions amongst ecologists and model developers. Further, we outline scientific topics recently articulated by the scientific community, which lend themselves well to being addressed by integrative modelling approaches and serve to motivate the progress and implementation of an open source model framework.
KeywordsEcological modelling Open source Model development
We are grateful to CLEAR (a “Villum Kann Rasmussen Centre of Excellence Project on lake restoration”) for providing funding support for the workshop on Lake Ecosystem Modelling, Silkeborg, Denmark, 20–22 September 2010, and to GLEON (Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network), CRES (Centre for Regional Change in the Earth System) and REFRESH (a project on Adaptive Strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems, funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme), for additional funding support.
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