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Ecological Monitoring and Modeling Services

Ecological Monitoring

Ecological modeling uses mathematical models and computational simulations to predict or obtain insights about the behavior of ecological systems. Versar staff developed ecological models of varying complexity along with spatial and temporal scales to address questions in terrestrial landscapes, wetlands, estuaries, and marine ecosystems. We also developed models to help find forest-harvesting strategies that maintain productivity while optimizing ecosystem carbon sequestration for Maryland’s Department of National Resources. Models help examine the way in which environmental disturbances such as overfishing, land use modification, and nutrient loading affect fisheries. Our scientists constructed a time-dynamic, spatially explicit simulation model to forecast the effects of such disturbances on fisheries production working together with scientists from the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. This model allows natural resource managers to evaluate the effectiveness of various fisheries management scenarios that are being considered to cope with the disturbances.

Recent Projects:

Rhode River Estuary – Used Ecopath with Ecosim/Ecospace to model fisheries production

Forest Harvesting – Modeled effects of harvesting strategies on forest carbon sequestration

Land Use/Fisheries Production – Coupled watershed land use models with a fisheries production model

Chesapeake Atlantis Model – Supported effort to model fisheries management scenarios for Chesapeake Bay