Ecosystem Modeling : Stability and the Effects of Perturbations on an Ecosystem : Example : Analysis of the Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration Compartment Model
Mamou, Edmond H.
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My research in the "Ecolab" in the Department of Botany and Microbiology consisted mainly of learning the concepts of system theory and analysis, which I will explain in much more detail throughout the paper. More generally, several topics I covered were: 1. Basic understanding of the conceptual ideas of ecosystem ecology. 2. Introduction to environmental science. 3. Interactions in a lab environment. 4. Innovations in lab experiments concerning photosynthesis and respiration. 5. Methodology in conducting research and critiquing journal articles. 6. Formulation of Microsoft Power Point® presentations. 7. Simulations using Mat lab®, Stella®, and Microsoft Excel®. Moreover, my research and learning covered a wide range of topics in ecology and kept my interest and curiosity for the duration of the summer (June 25 - September 5, 1999). In addition, the summer experience led me to an awareness of several current issues in global climate change research. First, humankind and, more specifically, policy makers need to be more conscious of the increase of carbon dioxide (C02) in the atmosphere and its effect on our biosphere. Second, there is a need to develop effective methods for studying long-term changes of our ecosystems in relation to carbon pool sizes and fluxes. Third, several methods have already been used to analyze and predict this effect on our ecosystems on a micro and macro-level one of which is the use of perturbation experiments to understand system stability and to force systems to elevated levels of carbon dioxide concentrations. I found that these methods are still at the early stages of development and for that reason there is a need for more research. With respect to my summer research position, I became interested in the topic of ecosystem modeling, which is one of the major fields related to global change research, and I researched several aspects of this field of study.
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