Spatial ecology in a changing world

Workshop: Ecological model integration to predict ecosystem responses to global change


From August 16th-18th, ECO-LAND was involved in the organisation of a workshop on ecosystem model integration held at the Université de Québec a Montreal (UQAM) under the umbrella of the recent collaboration between the CTFC and the CEF. The workshop was held in the context of the FONCER project  on the modelling of complex forest ecosystems lead by Christian Messier with the participation of two CTFC researchers, Lluís Brotons and Lluís Coll.

The main aim of the workshop was to discuss general constraints and suggest guidelines for the development of integrated models of ecosystem and biodiversity responses to global change.

Prediction of ecosystem and biodiversity responses to global change is becoming a central challenge in ecology and going beyond its traditional aim (i.e. gathering insights in what are the processes behind spatial and temporal patterns of ecosystems) to become a central tool to address human wellbeing.

The aim of predicting biological systems at different scales of organisation has seen a rapid and broad development over the last decades in term of modelling approaches aiming at the spatial and temporal projections of ecosystem outcomes.This trend is apparent in different disciplines handling biological entities from forestry and geography to conservation biology,  ecology and complex system science leading to boundaries behind all these disciplines becoming more a more blurred. In the last years, a number of reviews on the issue of hybrid or metamodelling have been carried out addressing this trend and outlining the main challenges and obstacles ahead (references attached to this doc).

All the reviews outline the trend towards increasing model complexity and the dangers derived from adding to much complexity into model building. In the light of anticipating global change impacts on ecological communities spatially explicit projections in the context of scenarios of prevailing impact drivers are becoming a crucial tool with an increasing role in decision making processes at the management and policy levels.

Therefore, models are going to become more complex and different disciplines and modelling approaches are going to merge. Challenges of model integration are methodological (implementation, hybridization, ecoinformatics…) as well as in the ability to collaborate and transfer knowledge across disciplines.

Durant els darrers 16-18 d’agost, ECO-LAND ha estat involucrat en l’organtizació d’un workshop sobre modelització ecosistèmica integrada celebrat a la Universite de Québec a Montreal (UQAM) sota el paraigues de les recents col.laboracions entre el CTFC i el CEF. El workshop està organitzar en el context del projecte FONCER sobre la modelització de sistemes forestals complexes dirigit per Christian Messier i on participen dos investigadors del CTFC, Lluís  Brotons i Lluís Coll.

El principal objectiu del workshop va ser la discussió sobre les problemàtiques principals que aparèixen en el desenvolupament d’aquest models integrats que pretenen anticipar els possibles impactes del canvi globla sobre la biodiversitat.

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