Selecting a landscape model for natural resource management applications

Current Landscape Ecology Reports
By: , and 



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.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Selecting a landscape model for natural resource management applications
Series title Current Landscape Ecology Reports
DOI 10.1007/s40823-019-00036-6
Volume 4
Issue 2
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Springer International Publishing
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geography
Description 10 p.
First page 31
Last page 40
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