Ecology studies organisms in their relationship to their living and nonliving environment. This relationship can either be conceptualized as a function of some internal structure or as characteristic behavior at the respective external interface. Models can be used to formalize these options. There are several scientific versions of the notion of models as exemplified by the usages in mathematics, physics, or engineering. Nothing has to be a model and anything can be a model (Mahr 2009), even an organism, e.g., model organism. This definition deals with models of organisms or ecosystems. The distinction between conceptual and computational models has been useful. In the following context of artificial life(AL), the discussion will be restricted to models which can be expressed or implemented on a computer. Hence, in ecological modeling, the empirical phenomena derived from scientific study as in ecosystem science (on the one hand) or in land-use traditions as in...
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