Effects of spatial resolution on the performance and interpretation of marine ecosystem models
Fulton, EA and Smith, ADM and Johnson, CR (2004) Effects of spatial resolution on the performance and interpretation of marine ecosystem models. Ecological Modelling, 176 (1-2). pp. 27-42. ISSN 0304-3800
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2003.10.026
Simplifying models by using coarse spatial resolution can be desirable because it reduces structural, computational and data
requirements and can make model interpretation easier. However, spatially simplified models may be incapable of reproducing
important dynamics observed in nature. To consider this issue the effect of spatial structure on the output of two trophic ecosystem
models (Bay Model 2 (BM2) and the Integrated Generic Bay Ecosystem Model (IGBEM)) was considered using a theoretical
approach known as 'deep-shallow model' comparison. This involved comparing simulation runs of 1-, 3-, and 8-box versions of
the ecosystem models (the 'shallow' models) with a 59-box version that was used to represent the real world (the 'deep' model).
The results indicate that simpler spatial configurations (geometries) can result in less short-term variation, changes in predicted
spatial patterns and trophic self-simplification (loss of functional groups), as the opportunity for spatial refuges is reduced.
More importantly, models with very little spatial resolution (i.e. 1- and 3-box models) do not capture the effects of changes in
nutrient loads or fishing pressure as well as more complex models. The results for the 8-box models used here indicate that
some simplification is acceptable, as overall model performance is not overwhelmed by the impacts of trophic self-simplification
and a loss of spatial heterogeneity. However, using models with very little spatial resolution (i.e. 1- and 3-box models) can be
misleading, as the impacts on system dynamics of the reduced heterogeneity increase.
|Additional Information:||The definitive online version of this article is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/|
|Keywords:||Spatial structure; Biogeochemistry; Ecosystems; Models|
|Deposited By:||Professor Craig R. Johnson|
|Deposited On:||28 May 2007|
|Last Modified:||18 Jul 2008 19:55|
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