Plants in the garden: an approach to modeling the impact of industrial activities in ecosystems
Reap, John J.
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Humanity's interactions with the supporting environment are, to state the obvious, complex. Humanity's industrial activities effect the environment over time and space, and the same activities even produce different results in different locations. Since the complexities of these interactions may preclude the successful use of eco-performance metrics, humanity may need a means of informing environmental management decisions that accounts for changes with time, spatial patterns and local uniqueness. The objective of this effort is to interface engineering and ecological systems models to better estimate environmental impacts by modeling the dynamic, spatially explicit and location dependent changes caused by industrial activities. Building upon previously developed, dynamic, spatially explicit, location specific ecosystem modeling software, a technical framework for estimating the impacts of industrial systems in ecosystems is developed. Ecological disturbances endemic to engineering systems are integrated into these existing ecosystem models. The results of these integrations are discussed, and from these results, the potential for estimating impacts using dynamic, spatially explicit and location based modeling is evaluated. In other words, one learns the result of placing industrial plants in mother natures garden.