Strategies for Ecological Modeling

  • Louis Legendre
  • Masumi Yamamuro


There are two broad approaches to numerical ecological models, i.e. specific and generic. In the specific approach, biological quantities in the model must be observed locally, which is often difficult or/and time-consuming. In contrast, the generic approach does not require local values of biological quantities in the model, these being computed with generic equations. In general, generic equations estimate the biological quantities in models from local values of easily observed environmental variables (e.g. temperature). Generic models have both advantages and drawbacks. On the one hand, there is no need to estimate locally biological quantities in the system, and the same model can be applied to homologous systems. On the other hand, generic models may fit less precisely local situations than specific models. In practice, the two approaches are often combined, e.g. in order to obtain rapidly at least preliminary answers to site-specific questions, generic models may be simplified to fit and explore the local situations. When detailed answers are required, specific models may be constructed using parts of existing generic models, which is an efficient use of knowledge developed by the international community, for resolving local problems.


Particulate Organic Carbon Ecological Model Zebra Mussel Coastal Lagoon Bacterial Respiration 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Legendre
    • 1
  • Masumi Yamamuro
    • 2
  1. 1.Villefranche Oceanography LaboratoryVillefranche-sur-Mer CedexFrance
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Resources and EnvironmentGeological Survey of JapanTsukubaJapan

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