Publication Details

An object-oriented forest landscape model and its representation of tree species

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He, Hong S.; Mladenoff, David J.; Boeder, Joel

Year Published



Ecologial Modeling. 119: 1-19. (1999)


LANDIS is a forest landscape model that simulates the interaction of large landscape processes and forest successional dynamics at tree species level. We discuss how object-oriented design (OOD) approaches such as modularity, abstraction and encapsulation are integrated into the design of LANDIS. We show that using OOD approaches, model decisions (olden as model assumptions) can be made at three levels parallel to our understanding of ecological processes. These decisions can be updated with relative efficiency because OOD components are less interdependent than those designed with traditional approaches. To further examine object design, we examined how forest species objects, AGELIST (tree age-classes), SPECIE (single species) and SPECIES (species list), are designed, linked and functioned. We also discuss in detail the data structure of AGELIST and show that different data structures can significantly affect model performance and model application scopes. Following the discussion of forest species objects, we apply the model to a real forest landscape in northern Wisconsin. We demonstrate the model's capability of tracking species age cohorts in a spatially explicit manner at each time step. The use of these models at large spatial and temporal scales reveals important information that is essential for the management of forested ecosystem.


He, Hong S.; Mladenoff, David J.; Boeder, Joel. 1999. An object-oriented forest landscape model and its representation of tree species. Ecologial Modeling. 119: 1-19. (1999)

Last updated on: August 11, 2006