Do simple models lead to generality in ecology?

M.R. Evans, V. Grimm, K. Johst, T. Knuuttila, R. de Langhe, C.M. Lessells, M. Merz, M.A. O’Malley, S.H. Orzack, M. Weisberg, D.J. Wilkinson, O. Wolkenhauer, T.G. Benton

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Abstract

Modellers of biological, ecological, and environmental systems cannot take for granted the maxim ‘simple means general means good’. We argue here that viewing simple models as the main way to achieve generality may be an obstacle to the progress of ecological research. We show how complex models can be both desirable and general, and how simple and complex models can be linked together to produce broad-scale and predictive understanding of biological system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-583
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume28
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • international

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