Note that this page is part of a collection of iLand history pages and does not necessarily represent the current state of model development!

Core principles

Core principles in the design and development of iLand are:

iLand aims at predictive capacity for complex adaptive systems (CAS)

  • key aspects will be modeled as emerging properties of the model
  • the importance of interactions at various levels for systems dynamics is explicitly accounted for

iLand development is explicitly driven by (a) research question(s)

  • the intended domain of application is given by the cornerstones climate change – disturbances – ecosystem management
  • process and complexity requirements are related to the models CAS abilities and intended domain of application

iLand is an extension of previous and ongoing activities

  • the work under the project does not re-invent the wheel but rather brings „wheels“ together
  • project development is strongly linked to existing tools (LANDIS-II, PICUS) and ongoing research projects

iLand is open

  • process interfaces will be designed for easy adaptation and extension
  • code will be freely available under the premise of reserved intellectual property rights
  • a comprehensive documentation will be provided

Model hierarchy and structure

Processes in iLand operate on three hierarchical levels:

  • environment: the level of homogeneous climate and topography (~ tens to hundreds of hectares),
  • resources: the level of above- and belowground resource dynamics, influenced by environmental factors and aggregated tree level structure (~ a hectare)
  • individuals: the level of individual tree dynamics, affected by the environment and competing for resources


boxes= state variables; rhombs= flow variables; hexagon= process; arrows= influence, information flow