A comparative modelling study of plant growth systems in a desert ecosystem

TitleA comparative modelling study of plant growth systems in a desert ecosystem
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1974
AuthorsReynolds J.F.
Number of Pages68
Date Published1974
UniversityNew Mexico State University
CityLas Cruces, New Mexico
Thesis TypePh.D. Dissertationpp
Call Number00269
Keywordsdissertation, dissertations, model, level-rate, model, pulse-reserve, model,comparative, model,plant growth, plant growth system,model, productivity,model, theses, thesis
AbstractThe use of modeling as a tool in ecosystem analysis has mushroomed in recent years.... Two possible modeling approaches are within quantitative and a qualitative formats. The quantitative approach in ecology usually incorporates the level-rate paradigm of Forrester, utilizing systems of differential equations to describe component relationships. A high level of model precision is one of the objectives. The qualitative approach, as used here, incorporated the pulse-reserve paradigm of Bridges, utilizing blocks of logic statements to test for the presence or absence of specific driving variables. A high level of model realism is one of the goals using this technique. Although void of functional relationships or mechanisms, the pulse-reserve model did offer long-term stability. The reserve-trigger-pulse sequence of the model is biologically real and represents an adaptive strategy for organisms in arid environments. The possibility of expanding this approach for and entire system is discussed. A model is proposed that incorporates the more precise level-rate formulation for primary producers and the pulse-reserve paradigm for higher trophic levels.