Data-Analysis or Simulation-Model - a Critical-Evaluation of Some Methods

O.F.R. Van Tongeren

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    The use of regression, ordination and dynamic ecosystem modelling in limnology is discussed by evaluating some of the vices and virtues of these techniques. Both general characteristics of the approaches and a few examples are used to stress the importance of analysis of the residuals for evaluation of the models. Not completely unexpected, a simple ordination model did not perform worse than a complicated ecosystem model, both applied to the same lake system. Both models are shown to fail for prediction purposes, mainly because the error variance in the data used for parameter estimation is large compared to the variance that can be explained. Integration of regression, multivariate analysis and dynamic ecosystem modelling, all followed by analysis of the residuals, is advised. Nested models are proposed as a solution for the problem of changing parameters and for the problem of parameters being different among lakes. [KEYWORDS: Fresh-water ecosystems; limnology; model evaluation Loosdrecht lakes; uncertainty; environment; ordination; phosphorus]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-60
    JournalEcological Modelling
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1995


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