Do simple models lead to generality in ecology?

Author(s)
Matthew R. Evans, Volker Grimm, Karin Johst, Tarja Knuuttila, Rogier de Langhe, Catherine M. Lessells, Martina Merz, Maureen A. O'Malley, Steve H. Orzack, Michael Weisberg, Darren J. Wilkinson, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Tim G. Benton
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 systems.

Organisation(s)
Department of Philosophy, Department of Science and Technology Studies
External organisation(s)
Queen Mary University of London, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung, University of Helsinki, Tilburg University, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Universität Luzern, The University of Sydney, Fresh Pond Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University, Newcastle University, Universität Rostock, University of Leeds
Journal
Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume
28
Pages
578-583
No. of pages
6
ISSN
0169-5347
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2013.05.022
Publication date
10-2013
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
Philosophy, Theory of science
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/do-simple-models-lead-to-generality-in-ecology(dc11e32f-da25-46e3-a16e-2609df5d1ced).html