New 5/5/2003 - Corrections to the second edition of the text and a list of definitions of frequntly used terms from the book are now available.

Welcome! From this site you can download three files which will allow you to run a set of computer laboratory exercises written to accompany the second edition of Terrestrial Ecosystems by John Aber and Jerry Melillo. These exercises employ a set of simple dynamic models of ecosystem processes, or present partially completed data sets requiring further inputs from the users. The models are indeed simple, and should not be taken as serious attempts at ecosystem simulation. They are what has been described as "toy" models, designed to demonstrate certain principles and reinforce concepts presented in the text.

The program is written in VisualBasic and includes an easy-to-use graphical user interface for data entry and program control. Windows 95 or above is required to run the program, as well as a screen resolution of at least 800x600. No programming or other special computer skills are required. There will be a total of 22 exercises. Some are still under construction. Worksheets are provided for each exercise. These direct users through a series of data entry and model execution steps. You may download the worksheets, which are in Microsoft Word format, from this site. You may also download a second set of worksheets which have brief answers provided for self-correction of your work.

These models have been developed over a period of 10 years. We have found them useful in bringing to life some of the central concepts presented in the book. They provide process-based learning and demonstrate some of the complexities inherent in interactive systems that are difficult to realize through lecture and discussion. We hope these will help you understand how ecosystems work, and the role of ecosystem dynamics in environmental processes.


Last Updated: 01/26/01

Number online: 16

Please select a file to download

Current exercises:

Acompanying worksheets:


Worksheets with answers are available on request