Manor Askenazi, Melissa Savage

Paper #: 98-06-056

This paper presents an agent-based, object-oriented ecological model of forest dynamics designed to examine the role of disturbance on diversity. Arborscapes is based on Swarm, an agent-based software platform that offers advantages for ecological modeling, including a suite of standardized libraries of objects, schedules, and probes, and architectural features such as inheritance, message passing, encapsulation, and hierarchical structure. Object-oriented models are more transparent, portable and more easily modified than process oriented models, and therefore promise to facilitate collaboration on computational experiments. The initial application of Arborscapes was the analysis of disturbance dynamics, but the model was designed to be modified for a variety of applications in the simulation of vegetation community dynamics.