27 March 2017 - 30 March 2017

First workshop of the working group “Dynamic Vegetation Models: The Next Generation”

This workshop kicks-off the work of the IIASA-coordinated working group consisting of about 35 leading scientists working in plant ecophysiology, evolution and ecology, soil science, ecosystem management and mathematical modeling. Through fertilization across these disciplines the working group aims at conceptualizing a new generation of tractable and computationally efficient yet realistic dynamic global vegetation models.

Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) have become indispensable for understanding the biosphere. Yet, while their versatility is increasing as new processes and variables are added, uncertainty accumulates and there is an urgent need to improve the reliability and robustness of their predictions. We aim to address this challenge by developing foundations of a new generation of vegetation models, utilizing recent progress in scientific understanding and modeling methods. We are particularly focusing on what might be called a “missing law” – principles of adaptation and optimization rooted in natural selection, which make plants more predictable and models both simpler and more accurate. With this working group, we intend to stimulate the development of these concepts and other organizing principles by providing an opportunity to join forces and collaborate across established groups and disciplines.  

In the first workshop, we discuss the state of the art and identify promising key directions for future developments, which will serve as a basis for our collaborative research; next two workshops will make further progress on our goals. 

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Last edited: 07 April 2017


Oskar Franklin

Senior Research Scholar Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


Ulf Dieckmann

Principal Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Workshop information

Workshop materials

Research project

Dynamic vegetation models: the next generation

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313