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Qualitative Modeling for Bridging Expert-Knowledge and Social-Ecological Dynamics of an East African Savanna

Abstract : Sub-Saharan social-ecological systems are undergoing changes in environmental conditions, including modifications in rainfall pattern and biodiversity loss. Consequences of such changes depend on complex causal chains which call for integrated management strategies whose efficiency could benefit from ecosystem dynamic modeling. However, ecosystem models often require lots of quantitative information for estimating parameters, which is often unavailable. Alternatively, qualitative modeling frameworks have proved useful for explaining ecosystem responses to perturbations, while only requiring qualitative information about social-ecological interactions and events and providing more general predictions due to their validity for wide ranges of parameter values. In this paper, we propose the Ecological Discrete-Event Network (EDEN), an innovative qualitative dynamic modeling framework based on “if-then” rules generating non-deterministic dynamics. Based on expert knowledge, observations, and literature, we use EDEN to assess the effect of permanent changes in surface water and herbivores diversity on vegetation and socio-economic transitions in an East African savanna. Results show that water availability drives changes in vegetation and socio-economic transitions, while herbivore functional groups have highly contrasted effects depending on the group. This first use of EDEN in a savanna context is promising for bridging expert knowledge and ecosystem modeling.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03522463
Contributor : Yannick Brohard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 10:14:22 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 19, 2022 - 3:45:40 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 6:33:36 PM

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Maximilien Cosme, Christelle Hély, Franck Pommereau, Paolo Pasquariello, Christel Tiberi, et al.. Qualitative Modeling for Bridging Expert-Knowledge and Social-Ecological Dynamics of an East African Savanna. Land, MDPI, 2022, 11 (1), 26 p. ⟨10.3390/land11010042⟩. ⟨hal-03522463⟩

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