The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

701-1420-00L  Systems Ecology: Principles and Modelling

SemesterSpring Semester 2016
LecturersA. Fischlin, H. Lischke
Periodicityyearly recurring course
CourseDoes not take place this semester.
Language of instructionEnglish


AbstractFundamentals of systems ecology: Principles, approaches, and modeling of ecological systems illustrated by case studies based on a general systems-theoretical foundation with emphasis on structured ecological modeling. Examples are not only drawn from ecology, but also from biology, agronomy, and forestry.
ObjectiveMain teaching goal: Introduction to the modeling and simulation of complex environmental systems from ecology, biology, agronomy, and forestry.
ContentFundamentals, concepts, and methods of systems ecology, covering population systems as well as ecosystems and introducing students to systems approaches and the associated concepts such as systems analysis, systems thinking, non-linear responses of ecosystems to external forcings, stability and resilience, plus tipping points etc.

In a first part principles and approaches are taught by discussing in detail three case studies. The case studies allow students to familiarize themselves with some of the more important techniques such as systems analysis, modeling, system and parameter identification, stability analysis, and model evaluation.

In the second part of the course students get a comprehensive overview over the diverse modeling approaches (dynamic, linear, non-linear, deterministic, and stochastic systems). The techniques of structured mathematical modeling, simulation, equilibrium and stability analysis, numerical simulation, model validation, and interpretation of model results.

In the last third part case studies from latest research are presented, such as impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems, host-pathogen-vector systems, or population dynamics of pests.

For further details please visit the course portal: http://www.sysecol.ethz.ch/education/course-portal/VSysEcol
Lecture notesHandouts and other course material will be made available during the course.
LiteraturePlease visit the web portal Link
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course expects students to participate actively in discussions and notably also in solving a set of problems. Some of these activities include working with computers. Therefore students should either bring their own laptops along or use one of the laptops provided.