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Novel Models

Exploring the boundaries of ecological modelling

Work within this new initiative contributes to Focus 3 of the bioDISCOVERY scientific strategy - improving biodiversity predictions. Models can be used to integrate different levels and aspects of biodiversity, and interpolate observations across space, time and taxa. Models need to include new types of data (e.g. traits or functional types), and interactions between species to more accurately predict ecosystem responses to global change. Incorporation of biotic interactions into ecological models in particular is a challenge, and presents the frontier of modelling. Aim of this "brain storming" iniative is to facilitate the development of a new generation of models that combine both good representations of biodiversity and of ecosystem functioning.

The first workshop of this initiative was held from 6 - 10 June 2011 at the Arrabida Monastery in Portugal. The participants enjoyed stimulating discussions on different approaches to improve modelling of biodiversity responses to global change. The workshop report can be accessed here.

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