Mason Earles gave a great presentation this week at Davis R Users’ Group about linking R with the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS). FVS is a model developed by the US Forest Service to simulate forest growth over time. It’s written in FORTRAN and has been around since the 1970s.

FVS has recently gone open-source (its repository is on google code), and now has an alpha-level API which can be called from R. Mason showed us how he used the API along with some text manipulation functions to make the programs work together. Then he showed us how he used this to do some Monte Carlo simulations to look at the effects of stochastic fire and drought events.

Here are Mason’s slides: