Deriving simple predictions from complex models to support environmental decision-making.

Stillman, R. A., Wood, K.A. and Goss-Custard, J.D., 2016. Deriving simple predictions from complex models to support environmental decision-making. Ecological Modelling, 326, pp. 134-141.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2015.04.014

Abstract

Recent decades have seen great advances in ecological modelling and computing power, enabling ecologists to build increasingly detailed models to more accurately represent ecological systems. To better inform environmental decision-making, it is important that the predictions of these models are expressed in simple ways that are straightforward for stakeholders to comprehend and use. One way to achieve this is to predict threshold values for environmental perturbations (e.g. climate change, habitat modification, food loss, sea level rise) associated with negative impacts on individuals, populations, communities or ecosystems. These thresholds can be used by stakeholders to inform management and policy. In this paper we demonstrate how this approach can use individual-based models of birds, their prey and habitats, to provide the evidence-base for coastal bird conservation and shellfishery management. In particular, we show how such models can be used to identify threshold values for perturbations of food abundance that can impact negatively on bird populations. We highlight how environmental thresholds could be used more widely to inform management of species and habitats under environmental change.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1872-7026
Uncontrolled Keywords:Agent-based models; Communication; Decision support tools; Environmental management and policy; Individual-based models; Prediction
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:22116
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:16 Jun 2015 15:23
Last Modified:07 Mar 2016 16:51

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