Ecosystem-Based Management

SERDP and ESTCP efforts are developing and demonstrating the science, models, tools, and methods needed to implement the concept of ecosystem-based management, in a manner that sustains ecological systems and the military mission, through the use of scientifically robust performance metrics. The preceding efforts include:

  • Ecological, biogeochemical, and biophysical process models and associated decision support tools
  • Coupled species-ecosystem models
  • Ecological reference models
  • Ecological assessment frameworks

The primary focus is on arid lands, coastal and estuarine ecosystems, Pacific Island ecosystems, coral reefs, and forest ecosystems (see Ecological Forestry).

Product List by Product and Date Posted
Product Date Posted

GEMS Model

Model / Software and Guidance

The General Ensemble Biogeochemical Modeling System (GEMS) enables spatially explicit simulation of carbon dynamics in vegetation and soils. GEMS is a modeling system that was developed for a better integration of well-established ecosystem biogeochemical models with various spatial databases for the simulations of biogeochemical cycles over large areas. It uses a Monte-Carlo-based ensemble approach to incorporate the variability (as measured by variances and covariance) of state and driving variables of the underlying biogeochemical models into simulations. Consequently, GEMS can simulate not only the spatial and temporal trends of carbon dynamics, such as CO2 exchange between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere, but also can provide uncertainty estimates of the predicted variables in time and space.

Feb 2010

The Landuse Evolution and Impact Assessment Model (LEAM)

Model / Software

The Landuse Evolution and impact Assessment Model (LEAM) is capable of: (1) projecting future population levels based on an economic input-output model; (2) projecting future growth patterns of new urban residential, commercial, and open space to accommodate the projected population; (3) identifying areas where future military training and testing can occur without conflict with the surrounding community; and (4) identifying growth impacts on utilities, road networks, water quality, and habitat fragmentation, all of which can indirectly affect installation sustainability. End users can run and evaluate regional planning scenarios through a simple to use web-based interface. The modeling and engagement process encourages a tight collaboration among local regional planners, local data, and local decision makers.

Aug 2008

Shallow Water Habitat Website

Web Site

This website is designed for those who are interested in learning more about the shallow water habitats, communities, and ecosystems of Virginia’s estuaries and bays. You also will find information on human effects, such as pollution and eutrophication, and management issues. A brief introduction is included to the methods used by ecologists and coastal oceanographers to study shallow water habitats. Each section includes a list of references and websites that may be of further interest.

Apr 2008

RSim Model

Model / Software and Guidance

RSim is a simulation model that enables military and other planners to understand the implications of land-use change, resource use, and future development policy on the sustainability of military lands and missions and outlying regions. This model integrates land-use changes with ecological effects of changes in noise, water and air quality, and species of special concern and their habitats. RSim was developed to project land-use changes and their impacts for the five counties in Georgia that surround and include Fort Benning, but can be adapted to other regions and a diversity of resource issues.

Dec 2006

Vegetation Change Analysis: User’s Manual


This user’s manual focuses on the development of new monitoring techniques that have been implemented at the U.S. Army’s National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. It was designed to address diagnostic capabilities needed to distinguish between various degrees of sustainable and non-sustainable impacts due to military training and testing and habitat-disturbing activities in desert ecosystems. Techniques described in this manual focus on the use of high-resolution imagery and the application of image-processing techniques used to measure vegetation in arid lands.

Feb 2003

New Technologies to Reclaim Arid Lands: User's Manual


This manual is designed to assist users in understanding basic principles of land reclamation and selecting new and cost-effective techniques for rehabilitation and restoration of disturbed habitats at their facilities. The reclamation and diagnostic tools presented will enable management to maximize utilization of testing and training environments and thus increase operational readiness.

Oct 2002

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