To describe and explain of the observed vegetation patterns at several scales (population, species, community, landscape,…), we need advanced statistical methods designed to answer the ecologists’ research questions. One of the aims of the vegetation modeling group is to develop, test, and compare statistical methods for plant ecology with extensive use of numerical simulations. Even though we focus mostly in vegetation, some of these analytical tools are suitable for studying both plants and animal communities.
Ecologists are expected to contribute to society by providing predictions about possible outcomes of ecosystems, especially under scenarios including anthropogenic stressors. Ecological models are invaluable tools that allow ecologists to integrate knowledge about how ecosystems work in order to make reliable predictions. Another aim of the vegetation modeling group is to develop process-based and spatially-explicit models of vegetation dynamics at several scales, from stands to landscapes and regions.