simecol An object-oriented framework for ecological modeling in R

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Thomas Petzoldt - , TUD Dresden University of Technology (Author)
  • Karsten Rinke - , University of Konstanz (Author)


The simecol package provides an open structure to implement, simulate and share ecological models. A generalized object-oriented architecture improves readability and potential code re-use of models and makes simecol-models freely extendable and simple to use. The simecol package was implemented in the S4 class system of the programming language R. Reference applications, e. g. predator-prey models or grid models are provided which can be used as a starting point for own developments. Compact example applications and the complete code of an individual-based model of the water flea Daphnia document the efficient usage of simecol for various purposes in ecological modeling, e. g. scenario analysis, stochastic simulations and individual based population dynamics. Ecologists are encouraged to exploit the abilities of simecol to structure their work and to use R and object-oriented programming as a suitable medium for the distribution and share of ecological modeling code.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of statistical software
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes

External IDs

Scopus 37649014308
ORCID /0000-0002-4951-6468/work/142256757


Research priority areas of TU Dresden


  • ecological modeling, individual-based model, object-oriented programming (OOP), code-sharing, R, DAPHNIA POPULATION-DYNAMICS, LIFE-HISTORY, FISH PREDATION, TEMPERATURE, FOOD, CONSEQUENCES, SIMULATION, MORTALITY