Tool name * E2K

E2K (Ecowin2000) makes use of an object-oriented programming (OOP) approach to implement ecological models for aquatic systems. The basic underlying structure is that of a spatial (1D, 2D and 3D) framework of boxes, within each of which the relevant biogeochemistry and population dynamics are resolved. Each object in E2K groups together multiple state variables (Ferreira 1995). E2K contains about one hundred objects, corresponding to hierarchies for simulating e.g. hydrodynamics, air temperature, oyster growth, seeding and harvesting processes, etc. This ecological model is applicable to the ecosystem scale, corresponding e.g.for the EU WFD to: Water body and regional scale. The usage of object-oriented methods to simulate processes in ecological systems simplifies model development due to the flexibility associated with the modularity and inheritance properties of the objects themselves and provides a much greater conceptual approximation between natural ecosystems and interacting objects relative to structured programming. Limitations: Restrictions are associated with (a) computer memory (b) runtime tolerance (c) common sense Skills needed: Extensive computer/GIS/programming training required. Some scientific background necessary. Tech support available: Training courses Equipment Needs: Windows OS PC-based (from: More information on:

Category All, Numerical Model
What step(s) in analysis framework 2a
What step(s) in Governance framework

Not available

Data Quality Required

Modification Required

Not available

Expertise Required

Spatial and Temporal

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License cost issues


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Literature: References & Manuals *

Technical Information: 

  • J.G. Ferreira, A.J.S. Hawkins, P. Monteiro, H. Moore, M. Service, P.L. Pascoe, L. Ramos, A. Sequeira, 2008. Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem-Scale Carrying Capacity in Shellfish Growing Areas. Aquaculture, 275, 138-151.
  • A.M.Nobre, J.G.Ferreira, A.Newton, T.Simas, J.D.Icely, R.Neves, 2005. Management of coastal eutrophication: Integration of field data, ecosystem-scale simulations and screening models. Journal of Marine Systems, 56 (3/4), 375-390.
  • J.G. Ferreira, 1995. EcoWin - An object-oriented ecological model for aquatic ecosystems. Ecol. Modelling, 79, 21-34. Sustainable Mariculture in Northern Irish Lough Ecosystems (SMILE) An overview of the modelling approaches for five sea lough systems addressed by the SMILE project. Carlingford Lough, Strangford Lough, Belfast Lough, Larne Lough and Lough Foyle. Sustainable Options for People, Catchment and Aquatic Resources (SPEAR) An overview of the development of an integrated framework for management of the coastal zone in China, using two test cases where communities depend primarily upon marine resources.