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Coupled land use and ecological models reveal emergence and feedbacks in socio-ecological systems

Coupled land use and ecological models reveal emergence and feedbacks in socio-ecological systems
Coupled land use and ecological models reveal emergence and feedbacks in socio-ecological systems
Understanding the dynamics of socio-ecological systems is crucial to the development of environmentally sustainable practices. Models of social or ecological sub-systems have greatly enhanced such understanding, but at the risk of obscuring important feedbacks and emergent effects. Integrated modelling approaches have the potential to address this shortcoming by explicitly representing linked socio-ecological dynamics. We developed a socio-ecological system model by coupling an existing agent-based model of land-use dynamics and an individual-based model of demography and dispersal. A hypothetical case-study was established to simulate the interaction of crops and their pollinators in a changing agricultural landscape, initialised from a spatially random distribution of natural assets. The bi-directional coupled model predicted larger changes in crop yield and pollinator populations than a unidirectional uncoupled version. The spatial properties of the system also differed, the coupled version revealing the emergence of spatial land-use clusters that neither supported nor required pollinators. These findings suggest that important dynamics may be missed by uncoupled modelling approaches, but that these can be captured through the combination of currently-available, compatible model frameworks. Such model integrations are required to further fundamental understanding of socio-ecological dynamics and thus improve management of socio-ecological systems.
population dynamics, agricultural intensification, integrated model
0906-7590
814-825
Synes, Nicholas W.
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Brown, Calum
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Palmer, Stephen C. F.
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Bocedi, Greta
c85e44bf-9488-481b-8d4d-b8b10f59e23a
Osborne, Patrick E.
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Watts, Kevin
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Franklin, Janet
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Travis, Justin M. J.
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Synes, Nicholas W.
a39af569-24d1-4f41-8c3b-69327461ac66
Brown, Calum
1ad61ed0-0f17-4843-b13e-a7d7cab3f2fc
Palmer, Stephen C. F.
d320e69c-f0b8-490c-b80d-6522da8df44c
Bocedi, Greta
c85e44bf-9488-481b-8d4d-b8b10f59e23a
Osborne, Patrick E.
c4d4261d-557c-4179-a24e-cdd7a98fb2b8
Watts, Kevin
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Franklin, Janet
35b241a1-da31-4fe1-8a1c-6fe6f7221473
Travis, Justin M. J.
1fa8f680-49a4-4f6d-a2be-35331ee346e3

Synes, Nicholas W., Brown, Calum, Palmer, Stephen C. F., Bocedi, Greta, Osborne, Patrick E., Watts, Kevin, Franklin, Janet and Travis, Justin M. J. (2019) Coupled land use and ecological models reveal emergence and feedbacks in socio-ecological systems. Ecography, 42 (4), 814-825. (doi:10.1111/ecog.04039).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Understanding the dynamics of socio-ecological systems is crucial to the development of environmentally sustainable practices. Models of social or ecological sub-systems have greatly enhanced such understanding, but at the risk of obscuring important feedbacks and emergent effects. Integrated modelling approaches have the potential to address this shortcoming by explicitly representing linked socio-ecological dynamics. We developed a socio-ecological system model by coupling an existing agent-based model of land-use dynamics and an individual-based model of demography and dispersal. A hypothetical case-study was established to simulate the interaction of crops and their pollinators in a changing agricultural landscape, initialised from a spatially random distribution of natural assets. The bi-directional coupled model predicted larger changes in crop yield and pollinator populations than a unidirectional uncoupled version. The spatial properties of the system also differed, the coupled version revealing the emergence of spatial land-use clusters that neither supported nor required pollinators. These findings suggest that important dynamics may be missed by uncoupled modelling approaches, but that these can be captured through the combination of currently-available, compatible model frameworks. Such model integrations are required to further fundamental understanding of socio-ecological dynamics and thus improve management of socio-ecological systems.

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Synes et al 2018 Ecography - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 November 2018
Published date: April 2019
Keywords: population dynamics, agricultural intensification, integrated model

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426948
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426948
ISSN: 0906-7590
PURE UUID: 27b12962-c6a9-4851-8377-d21493a42029
ORCID for Patrick E. Osborne: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8919-5710

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Dec 2018 17:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:03

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