ECOLECON: A spatially-explicit model for ECOLogical-ECONomics of species conservation in complex forest landscapes


Jianguo "Jack" Liu

Journal or Book Title: Ecological Modelling

Volume/Issue: 70

Page Number(s): 63-87

Year Published: 1993


An ECOLogical-ECONomic model (ECOLECON) has been developed to simulate animal population dynamics and economic revenues in response to different forest landscape structure and timber management scenarios. ECOLECON is a spatially-explicit, individual-based, and object-oriented program. It is coded in Borland C + + 2.0 and contains 14 classes or subclasses of ecological and economic information which are hierarchically interlinked. ECOLECON can genrate artificial forest landscapes or can link with geographic information systems (GIS) to run simulations on real landscapes. The model predicts population dynamics, spatial distribution. extinction probability of a species under consideration as well as future landscape structure, and economic income from timber harvest based on current tax and timber market situation. The model outputs provide valuable information for balancing the conflicts between the generation of economic revenues and the conservation of endangered species. Because ECOLECON is interactive and easy to use, it is a useful tool for both research and education. This paper introduces the methods of model development, presents the model structure. demonstrates a sample simulation using the model, and discusses the validation and utilities of the model as well as means to expand the model in the future.

Type of Publication: Journal Article