The aim of the INGRID landscape model is to simulate the ecological effects of management schemes for dry grasslands and to calculate costs in order to serve as decision tool for nature conservation agencies. To predict the local and regional risk of extinction of plants and animals with respect to different management scenarios/disturbance regimes, we apply modelling approaches on different scales and levels of hierarchy. We integrate abiotic and biotic state variables, processes and complex interactions in a spatially explicit way into the INGRID modelling shell. Data and parameters necessary for reliable modelling were determined empirically in a study site in southern Germany. Subsystems of the overall model are empirically parameterised and validated by means of extensive field surveys. The INGRID landscape model is still in development to be customised to administrative application. In this paper we give an overview on the landscape modelling shell and demonstrate the general structure of the INGRID landscape model. Preliminary results are exemplified with respect to habitat modelling, nature conservation evaluation, and economic modelling of two management scenarios. 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.