EcoService Models Library (ESML)

Guide to information in ESML

ESML is a database containing descriptions of ecological models (or EMs), their variables, and the source documents that describe them. 

Three kinds of entities are described in ESML:

Ecological Models (EMs)

In ESML, an EM is defined as a quantitative relationship (that is, a mathematical “function” or “model” having predictor [independent] and response [dependent] variables) that can assist the process of estimating the production of ecosystem goods and services. 

EM Variables

Variables are terms in the mathematical equations that make up EMs.  Variables are either predictor variables (inputs) or response variables (outputs).  The name, symbol and units of each EM variable, and selected mathematical, spatiotemporal and other characteristics (where given by the available documentation) are recorded.  Every variable in ESML is associated with one specific EM.  A variable relationship diagram, showing logical relationships between variables, is provided for each EM.  Read More about variables in ESML.

Source Documents

Source documents are documents from which EM descriptions have been obtained. Most source documents are from the peer-reviewed scientific literature (such as journal articles, books and technical reports), but websites, user manuals or other documentation may be cited as well.  Some source documents describe more than one EM, and some EMs are described by more than one source document.  (For more on the interpretation of source documents see What is the difference between EMs, EM applications and EM runs?)

View the ESML Data Map to see a map of the descriptors ESML uses to describe EMs, EM Variables and Source Documents.