|--Real Time Data
EcoBeaker is an ecological simulation program, designed primarily for
use in the classroom although it can also be useful for researchers interested
in quickly constructing ecological models. EcoBeaker gives you a two-dimensional
world in the computer, upon which you can place creatures whose behaviors
you design. You can then watch as the creatures eat, reproduce, move around,
die, and do all the other things that creatures normally do, observing
patterns that you can compare against patterns seen in the real world
and patterns predicted from various ecological theories. You can also
make graphs of many different variables from the EcoBeaker world, use
various statistical measures, and sample the populations in the world
using a variety of common ecological sampling techniques.
The Species Grid is a picture of the modelingworld, showing
the positions of all the different creatures in the model.
|EcoBeaker models run on a
two-dimensional world that is split up into little squares. Each square
can contain a creature, and the creatures in a given model are split
up into different types or species. The species is the basic unit
in EcoBeaker models. In EcoBeaker a species refers to a collection
of rules governing the behavior of creatures within that species.
Thus a species in EcoBeaker could be an age class, a sex, or even
something as unbiological as fire. There can be up to 10 species in
a model, one of which will always be the“Empty” species, representing
squares with no creature in them. The rules associated with these
species make up the basis of EcoBeaker models.
Species can be added to a model, or an existing species can be modified
or deleted using the Species Setup window, shown below.
A species can be either Grid Based or Individualistic. Both Grid Based
and Individualistic Species have three functions associated with them:
- Settlement Procedure. This is a procedure which is called at the beginning
of each Time Step. It can add creatures of this species to the grid.
An example of a settlement procedure would be Fixed settlement, where
a fixed number of new creatures are put in random places on the grid
- Transition Matrix. This is a set of probabilities which determines
whether a given creature will remain the same species or will change
to a new species.
- Action Procedure. This is a procedure which is invoked for each creature
of that species on the Grid, and which defines the actions of the species
- movement, reproduction, death, etc.
EcoBeaker includes many commonly used sampling techniques for sampling
the distributions of creatures on the Species Grid: Mark Recapture, Percent
Cover, Random Quadrat, Systematic, T-Square, and Transect. The statistics
can be displayed in line graphs, bar graphs, histograms, and y-y graphs
or in time-tables and stat tables.
- System 7.1 or higher.
- At least 4MB of RAM, more for complex simulations.
- A color monitor is recommended.