The intensification of agriculture causes a high loss of species-rich grasslands. In Central Europe, these semi-natural grasslands belong to the landscapes with the highest biodiversity. Only a well-directed management will maintain these valuable areas.

The GraS-Model (Grassland-Succession-Model) was developed as decision support system for the grassland areas of the Eifel National Park. This dynamic, process based, spatially-explicit (raster-based) simulation model predicts the development of grassland areas over 100 years.

A highly detailed spatial resolution is necessary to ensure a realistic simulation, as even small landscape elements are often crucial for the development. Due to its high complexity and the large-scale landscape modeled, the GraS-Model already exceeds the available computer main memory when applied to the Eifel National Park.

The Parallelization of the model allows running simulations on a cluster. This high-performance-computing is essential to ensure realistic simulations with a high predictive power, thus allowing the application and refinement of the GraS-Model as decision support system for the landscape management.


  • Lennartz, G., Siehoff, S., Roß-Nickoll, M. and Preuss, T.G., 2009. Modellierung von Landschaftsentwicklungsszenarien der Offenlandflächen im Nationalpark Eifel unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener Managementvarianten (Grasland Sukzessions-Modell). In: P. Finck, U. Riecken and E. Schröder (Editor), Offenlandmanagement außerhalb landwirtschaftlicher Nutzflächen. German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Bonn, Germany.

  • Siehoff S., Lennartz G., Heilburg I., Roß-Nickoll M., Ratte H. T., Preuss T. G. (in revision): Modelling grassland dynamics in a landscape mosaic using ecological indicator values. Ecological Modelling

  • Siehoff S., Andrich C., Terboven C., Lennartz G., Ratte H.T., Bischof C., Preuss T.G., an Mey D. (in preparation): Parallelization of a grid-based, mechanistic grassland succession model integrating short-, medium-, and long-distance dispersal



Dr. T.G. Preuß, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University

Dr. G. Lennartz, Research Institute for Ecosystem Analysis and Assessment, RWTH Aachen University

Prof. C. Bischof, Ph.D.Institute for Scientific Computing, Center for Computing and Communication, RWTH Aachen University

Dipl.-Math. Dieter an Mey, High Performance Computing, Center for Computing and Communication, RWTH Aachen University


for further information please contact

Dipl. Biol. Silvana Siehoff, Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University

Dipl. Inform. Christian TerbovenHigh Performance Computing, Center for Computing and Communication, RWTH Aachen University


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