What Are the General Conditions Under Which Ecological Models Can be Applied?
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the conditions under which models can be applied. Modelling can help to solve specific problems, but not all questions in ecology require or benefit from the application of a model. It is therefore necessary to have an idea about the criteria under which the development of a model can provide useful information or help to solve questions in ecological analysis and which conceptual and technical approaches are the most appropriate ones. Technical knowledge about the particular modelling techniques is presented in the subsequent chapter of this book. Here, we intend to give an overview of the basic criteria of model application.