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I am interested in plant ecology. I would like to model the dynamics of the distribution of a group of Alpine plant species on a certain mountain. Let us assume that the dynamics can be described by a mechanistic model which has some parameters to tune. The kind of model I have in mind is a diffusion-growth differential equation and the parameters should be environment dependent (i.e. should depend on climatic variables, soil ph, etc).

Question: Does it make sense to calibrate such a model with a dataset of surveys made on that mountain during the last 20 years?

The problem is that the group of species in consideration is likely to be not in equilibrium with the environment. Therefore the calibrated model found might not be very useful for making future predictions.

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  • $\begingroup$ See papers by Pagel and Schurr $\endgroup$
    – Ben Bolker
    Nov 15 '21 at 0:42

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