iLand News

iLand release

Wednesday 21 of March, 2012

We're delighted to let you know that after more than three years of research, discussion, coding, and testing iLand is finally published. A paper describing the core components of the iLand approach with regard to individual-tree competition for resources, growth, and mortality, and demonstrating the models' ability to simulate both even-aged and complex stands, has recently been published in Ecological Modelling. In line with our open source strategy it'll also become "open access" soon, i.e. available to everyone (with access to the internet).

In parallel to this peer-reviewed publication we have also published the model code and software version that was used in the simulation exercises presented in the paper. You can download the package here, and since we even supply some example simulation files running iLand on your machine is only a click away.

But there's even more. Despite publishing a 36 page appendix alongside the paper, to describe our model logic in more detail, we have also made the respective iLand wiki documentation pages public over the last days. On this 70+ pages you can browse interactively through the iLand world, search for key words you're interested in, or link yourself directly to relevant references we relied on in developing iLand.

For us this is a great moment (and we'll go celebrating it later this week ;-). Let me take this opportunity to thank everybody who contributed to making this possible, particularly the amazing colleagues who worked with us on iLand over the last three years, but also the funding sources making all of this possible, above all the EC's FP7 Marie Curie program.

So is this it? No, quite the contrary. For us, this is only the beginning. We're currently working on a number of additions (think disturbance modules) for iLand, so iLand development is far from finished (hence also the v0.3 of the currently public model version). And, of course, we didn't develop the model for the sake of model development itself (although that's a fun and interesting process, I admit): We're currently conducting a number of studies applying the model to a variety of questions, including an investigation into the drivers of C storage in complex mountain forest landscapes, the interactions between disturbances and forest vegetation, and the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.