Purpose of Review: Climate change and associated ecological impacts have challenged many conventional, observation-based approaches for predicting ecosystem and landscape responses to natural resource management. Complex spatial ecological models provide powerful, flexible tools which managers and others can use to make inferences about management impacts on
future, no-analog landscape conditions. However, land managers who wish to use ecosystem and landscape models for natural resource applications are faced with the difficult task of deciding among many models that differ in important ways. Here, we summarize a process to aid managers in the selection of an appropriate model for natural resource management.
Recent Findings: To guide management planning, scientifically credible information on how landscapes will respond to management actions under changing climate is required. Landscape models are increasingly used in a management context to evaluate of impacts of changing climate and interacting stressors on ecosystems and to test effects of alternative management
options on desired conditions. However, the wide range of available models makes selection of appropriate and viable models a complex process.
Summary: We present a series of preliminary steps to define critical scales of time, space, and ecological organization to guide an experimental design for a modeling project and then list a set of criteria for selecting a landscape or ecological model. Material presented includes the preliminary steps (crafting modeling objective, designing modeling project), organizational concerns (resources available, expertise on hand, timelines), and modeling details (complexity, design, documentation) of model selection.