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Ecosystem management on a single installation can be enhanced by the use of ecological models. Land managers typically face questions in several areas (Tazik & Price 1997; Table 1).

Questions in each of these areas can be addressed with ecological models, and the Army's Land Management System envisions the use of models in simulations to "quickly evaluate the potential impact of a particular activity on the resource to maximize mission use with minimal impact on available resources." (Tazik & Price 1997; p. 2)

Population and habitat models can be used to address questions regarding the impacts of an activity on species and communities of conservation concern. For example, at Fort Knox, we have developed models of Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea), and cedar barrens habitat that can be used to determine the impact of changes in land cover and other parameters on the availability of habitat for these species and communities. In addition, our territorial migrant model translates the availability of habitat into an estimate of the viability of Henslow's sparrow or cerulean warbler populations.

Vegetation dynamics models are available to evaluate land-based carrying capacity, land rehabilitation, and erosion control. Our team is developing a vegetation dynamics model for the eastern deciduous forest at Fort Knox. The FORAR model developed at ORNL in the late 1970s (Mielke et al. 1978, Shugart 1984, Dale et al. 1985, Dale and Doyle 1987), can be used to assess changes in forest stands and would be applied to the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem at Fort Stewart under a proposal we have submitted to SERDP in collaboration with colleagues at Sam Houston State University.

Landscape models and metapopulation models are important in understanding the processes that underly successful ecosystem management. We are applying metapopulation models to red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) across the southeastern U.S. and to Karner blue butterflies (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) at Fort McCoy.


Dale, V. H., T. W. Doyle, and H. H. Shugart. 1985. A comparison of tree growth models. Ecological Modeling 29:145-169.

Dale, V. H., and T. W. Doyle. 1987. The role of stand history in assessing forest impacts. Environ. Manage. 11(3):351-357.

Mielke, D. L., H. H. Shugart, and D. C. West. 1978. A stand model for upland forests of southern Arkansas. ORNL/TM-6225. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Shugart, H. H. 1984. A Theory of Forest Dynamics. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Tazik, D. J., and R. E. Price. 1997. US Army land management system research and development strategy. Paper presented at the 23rd Environmental Symposium and Exhibition, April 7-10, 1997, New Orleans. American Defense Preparedness Association.

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