Approaches to Modelling Ecogeomorphic Systems

  • Laura Turnbull
  • Tamara Hochstrasser
  • Mareike Wieczorek
  • Andreas Baas
  • John Wainwright
  • Stefania Scarsoglio
  • Britta Tietjen
  • Florian Jeltsch
  • Eva Nora Mueller


Drivers of land degradation often co-occur and their effects are often non-additive because of internal system feedbacks. Therefore, to understand how drivers of land degradation alter ecogeomorphic patterns and processes, novel tools are required. In this chapter we explore different modelling approaches that have been developed to simulate pattern formation, and ecological and geomorphic processes. These modelling approaches reflect some of the best available tools at present, but notably, they tend to simulate only one or at best two components of the ecogeomorphic system. The chapter culminates with a discussion of these different modelling approaches and how they provide a foundation upon which to develop much needed ecogeomorphic modelling tools.


Cellular Automaton Grazing Intensity Mean Annual Precipitation Grass Cover Shrub Cover 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This chapter is a contribution to the book Patterns of Land Degradation in Drylands: Understanding Self-Organised Ecogeomorphic Systems, which is the outcome of an ESF-funded Exploratory Workshop – “Self-organized ecogeomorphic systems: confronting models with data for land degradation in drylands” – which was held in Potsdam, Germany, 7–10 June 2010. The research on gap dynamics was supported by grants from the U. S. Army ERDC – Construction Engineering Research Laboratory to New Mexico State University, USDA-ARS and Sevilleta LTER. The development of Mahleran was funded by NERC grant GR3/12754, NSF grants DEB 00-80412 to Jornada LTER and DEB 02-17774 to Sevilleta LTER and support from The University of Sheffield, The Worshipful Company of Farmers, the Royal Society Dudley Stamp Memorial Fund and Rothamsted Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Turnbull
    • 1
  • Tamara Hochstrasser
    • 2
  • Mareike Wieczorek
    • 3
  • Andreas Baas
    • 4
  • John Wainwright
    • 5
  • Stefania Scarsoglio
    • 6
  • Britta Tietjen
    • 7
  • Florian Jeltsch
    • 8
  • Eva Nora Mueller
    • 9
  1. 1.Institute of Hazards, Risk and Resilience, Department of GeographyDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.School of Biology and Environment Science, Agriculture & Food Science CentreUniversity College DublinBelfield, DublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of GeosciencesAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchPotsdamGermany
  4. 4.Department of GeographyKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Department of GeographyUniversity of DurhamDurhamUK
  6. 6.Dipartimento di Idraulica, Trasporti ed Infrastrutture CiviliUniversity of TurinTorinoItaly
  7. 7.Institute of BiologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  8. 8.Plant Ecology and Nature ConservationUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  9. 9.Institute of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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