Managers of public lands are increasingly faced with making planning decisions for dynamic landscapes with conflicting objectives. A modeling system has been designed to serve as a decision support system to help managers and resource specialists integrate the available knowledge of vegetation change and disturbance processes, and quantify concepts that are often difficult to interpret for specific landscapes. The system is named SIMPPLLE, an acronym taken from “SIMulating vegetation Patterns and Processes at
s.” SIMPPLLE can be used to help define and evaluate future conditions at landscape scales, to identify areas that are more prone to disturbances over a given time frame, to identify the options for influencing these disturbance processes, and to help design and evaluate different strategies for achieving desired future conditions. The emphasis in this article is to give an overview of the design of the system, the types of knowledge integrated, and the type of output produced. The initial validation work discussed indicates that the approach used for capturing and integrating process knowledge in SIMPPLLE does predict realistic results at landscape scales. SIMPPLLE provides managers a tool to integrate and interpret concepts of desired future conditions, range of variability, and the interaction between vegetation patterns and disturbance processes. SIMPPLLE provides a way to help evaluate proposed management scenarios within a future that includes stochastic processes. West. J. Appl. For. 19(2):102–108.
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