Wildlife population models have been criticized for their narrow disciplinary perspective when analyzing complexity in coupled biological – physical – human systems. A group of researchers including CBSG staff have developed a “metamodel” approach to species risk assessment when diverse threats span multiple disciplines, act at different spatiotemporal scales, or interact in non-linear ways. A “metamodel” links multiple, discrete models that depict separate components of a complex system, governing the flow of information between models and the sequence of events in the simulation process. Metamodels provide a novel approach to species risk assessment for systems in which diverse threats are most effectively addressed through different disciplines, act at different spatiotemporal scales, or interact in non-linear ways. Each discrete model simulates processes specific to its disciplinary realm while being informed of changes in other parts of the metamodel by accessing common descriptors of the system, populations, and individuals. Interactions among models are revealed as emergent properties of the system. MetaModel Manager is a revolutionary new platform designed to implement this approach for extending wildlife risk assessment beyond single-species population viability analysis. MetaModel Manager allows any number of models representing species demography, diseases, landscapes, human actions, or other processes to be linked to models of population dynamics.
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