EcoService Models Library (ESML)

Some things ESML is not

ESML is not a modeling system

ESML does NOT contain model formulas; ESML does NOT perform computations.

ESML is not an ecological valuation database

Ecological valuation databases compile studies that place monetary values on ecosystems or ecosystem goods and services.  By contrast, the models compiled in ESML describe the ecological processes that produce ecosystem goods and services, not the value of the services.  In economic terms, ESML focuses on supply (or production) rather than demand (or value).

ESML is not a decision support system

Decision support systems (DSSs) guide users through multiple steps involved in clarifying and structuring decision processes.  At each step, a DSS may provide different informational or computational tools to the user.  By contrast, ESML is focused on a single aspect of environmental decision-making – that of ecological model selection.  ESML is highly descriptive so users can judge a model’s suitability for a given application; it does not directly perform any computations.

Whereas DSSs may be geared to users from a wide variety of backgrounds, users of ESML should have the science background needed to examine, select and use ecological models.

ESML is not a compendium of model software

Some online resources compile reviews of existing software packages for use in ecological modeling or environmental decision support.  ESML describes many ecological models for which no software has yet been developed, in addition to many for which it has.  ESML does not review the performance of related model software – although it does provide information about software access, where available.

ESML is not a substitute for original documentation

The goal of ESML is to describe an ecological model -- and in some cases its application -- only to the point where a user can make an initial judgment about its applicability to a given need. Based on ESML content, users can eliminate some models from further consideration and identify others worthy of further investigation. For final model selection and guidance on model use, however, users should refer to the original documentation (“EM Source Document”) cited in ESML.

ESML is not an endorsement

The inclusion of an ecological model in ESML does not constitute an endorsement of the model for use. The only requirements for model inclusion in ESML are potential relevance to the estimation of ecosystem-service production and the existence of an adequate description in a peer-reviewed or otherwise trusted source. ESML does not undertake to judge model veracity. ESML does include descriptors of model checking procedures (for example, goodness of fit, sensitivity analysis, operational validation), to the extent these have been reported.