Computational Ecology

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With data from genomics to economics, a computational model of place will make ecology more predictive and useful Moorea IDEA Consortium [1]

Ecology would promote human sustainability by being a broadly predictive science that accurately forecasts relevant outcomes of various policy decisions (Duraiappah & Rogers, 2011) [2]. Much research on social-ecological systems also known as coupled natural-human systems pursues this ideal by integrating essential physical, biological and social processes operating at the most appropriate scales from molecular to global.

Great efforts illustrate how longstanding and newer theory can be synthesized with massive amounts of empirical data that are increasingly well understood using computational approaches. Missing, however, are tools that propel these advances to the next level where informative scenarios are accurately forecasted over many spatial and temporal scales. More broadly, we need to understand relationships among successful models at different scales in order to effectively integrate key components into a more general and powerfully predictive understanding.

The Moorea IDEA (Island Digital Ecosystem Avatars) project is preparing to create a digital avatar of the Pacific island of Moorea. “A paradise on Earth could soon become the first ecosystem in the world to be replicated in digital form in painstaking detail, from the genes of its plants and animals to the geography of its landscape.” [3]


  1. Moorea IDEA
  2. Duraiappah, A.K. & Rogers, D. (2011): "The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: opportunities for the social sciences." Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 24(3), 217–224.
  3. Daniel Cressey. Tropical paradise inspires virtual ecology lab. Nature/News, 14 January 2015.
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Sat Jul 22 09:30:25 CEST 2017
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