Simulation Model of Benthic Antarctic Assemblages (SIMBAA), link to PC-executable

SIMBAA is a spatially explicit, individual-based simulation model. It was developed to analyse the response of populations of Antarctic benthic species and their diversity to iceberg scouring. This disturbance is causing a high local mortality providing potential space for new colonisation. Traits can be attributed to model species, e.g. in terms of reproduction, dispersal, and life span. Physical disturbances can be designed in space and time, e.g. in terms of size, shape, and frequency. Environmental heterogeneity can be considered by cell-specific capacities to host a certain number of individuals. When grid cells become empty (after a disturbance event or due to natural mortality of of an individual), a lottery decides which individual from which species stored in a pool of candidates (for this cell) will recruit in that cell. After a defined period the individuals become mature and their offspring are dispersed and stored in the pool of candidates. The biological parameters and disturbance regimes decide on how long an individual lives. Temporal development of single populations of species as well as Shannon diversity are depicted in the main window graphically and primary values are listed. Examples for simulations can be loaded and saved as sgf-files. The results are also shown in an additional window in a dimensionless area with 50 x 50 cells, which contain single individuals depicted as circles; their colour indicates the assignment to the self-designed model species and the size represents their age. Dominant species per cell and disturbed areas can also be depicted. Output of simulation runs can be saved as images, which can be assembled to video-clips by standard computer programs (see GIF-examples of which "Demo 1" represents the response of the Antarctic benthos to iceberg scouring and "Demo 2" represents a simulation of a deep-sea benthic habitat).



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