Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2011
Publication Date: January 15, 2012
Citation: Peters, D.C. 2012. Grassland simulation models: A synthesis of current models and future challenges. In: Jorgensen, S.E., editor. Handbook of Ecological Models Used in Ecosystem and Environmental Management. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group. p. 175-201. Interpretive Summary: This chapter provides a synthesis of current models being used to examine controls on grassland dynamics, and to predict future dynamics under global changes in drivers. Five major classes of models are described in terms of the questions that can be addressed, input parameters required, and response variables simulated. Specific models are described in detail for each class of model. Tables are used to compare specific models and to allow users to select models based on the questions to be addressed and the data available for parameterization. Recommendations are provided on when each class of model is most appropriately used, and future challenges in grassland modeling are described.
Technical Abstract: This chapter synthesizes the different kinds of simulation models commonly used to address questions about controls on dynamics of perennial grasslands. Five major classes of models are described using specific models as examples: (1) demographic, (2) physiological, (3) physical, (4) biogeochemistry, and (5) dynamic global vegetation. Each class of model is described relative to the types of questions that can be addressed, and then its advantages and limitations are stated. Recommendations on which model to select for different kinds of questions are given as well as future challenges in grassland modeling are described. The chapter contains five tables, one for each model class, that provide detailed information on input parameters, spatial and temporal resolution, and response variables for specific models that will aide readers in selecting models for use in different situations. In addition, a comprehensive literature cited includes many of the more commonly used and published models for grasslands.