This study presents FABM-PCLake, a redesigned structure of the PCLake aquatic ecosystem model, which we implemented in the Framework for Aquatic Biogeochemical Models (FABM). In contrast to the original model, which was designed for temperate, fully mixed freshwater lakes, the new FABM-PCLake represents an integrated aquatic ecosystem model that can be linked with different hydrodynamic models and allows simulations of hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes for zero-dimensional, one-dimensional as well as three-dimensional environments. FABM-PCLake describes interactions between multiple trophic levels, including piscivorous, zooplanktivorous and benthivorous fish, zooplankton, zoobenthos, three groups of phytoplankton and rooted macrophytes. The model also accounts for oxygen dynamics and nutrient cycling for nitrogen, phosphorus and silicon, both within the pelagic and benthic domains. FABM-PCLake includes a two-way communication between the biogeochemical processes and the physics, where some biogeochemical state variables (e.g., phytoplankton) influence light attenuation and thereby the spatial and temporal distributions of light and heat. At the same time, the physical environment, including water currents, light and temperature influence a wide range of biogeochemical processes. The model enables studies on ecosystem dynamics in physically heterogeneous environments (e.g., stratifying water bodies, and water bodies with horizontal gradients in physical and biogeochemical properties), and through FABM also enables data assimilation and multi-model ensemble simulations. Examples of potential new model applications include climate change impact studies and environmental impact assessment scenarios for temperate, sub-tropical and tropical lakes and reservoirs. © Author(s) 2016.