Abstract The article describes further development and applications of the already well-known response functions method (MRF). The method is used as a basis for the development of mathematical models of a wide set of ecological processes. The model of radioactive contamination of the ecosystems is chosen as an example. The mathematical model was elaborated for the description of 90Sr dynamics in the elementary ecosystems of various geographical zones. The model includes the blocks corresponding with the main units of any elementary ecosystem: lower atmosphere, soil, vegetation, surface water. Parameters' evaluation was provided on a wide set of experimental data. A set of computer simulations was done on the model to prove the possibility of the model's use for ecological forecasting.