Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed Evolution of Ecological Communities: Testing Constraint Closure

Steve Peck | Published Sun Dec 6 19:37:54 2020 | Last modified Fri Apr 16 22:17:46 2021

Ecosystems are among the most complex structures studied. They comprise elements that seem both stable and contingent. The stability of these systems depends on interactions among their evolutionary history, including the accidents of organisms moving through the landscape and microhabitats of the earth, and the biotic and abiotic conditions in which they occur. When ecosystems are stable, how is that achieved? Here we look at ecosystem stability through a computer simulation model that suggests that it may depend on what constrains the system and how those constraints are structured. Specifically, if the constraints found in an ecological community form a closed loop, that allows particular kinds of feedback may give structure to the ecosystem processes for a period of time. In this simulation model, we look at how evolutionary forces act in such a way these closed constraint loops may form. This may explain some kinds of ecosystem stability. This work will also be valuable to ecological theorists in understanding general ideas of stability in such systems.

This code is for an agent-based model of collective problem solving in which agents with different behavior strategies, explore the NK landscape while they communicate with their peers agents. This model is based on the famous work of Lazer, D., & Friedman, A. (2007), The network structure of exploration and exploitation.

RAGE models a stylized common property grazing system. Agents follow a certain behavioral type. The model allows analyzing how household behavior with respect to a social norm on pasture resting affects long-term social-ecological system dynamics.

This model simulates the form and function of an idealised estuary with associated barrier-spit complex on the north east coast of New Zealand’s North Island (from Bream Bay to central Bay of Plenty) during the years 2010 - 2050 CE. It combines variables from social, ecological and geomorphic systems to simulate potential directions of change in shallow coastal systems in response to external forcing from land use, climate, pollution, population density, demographics, values and beliefs. The estuary is over 1000Ha, making it a large estuary according to Hume et al. (2007) - there are 12 large estuaries in the Auckland region alone (Suyadi et al., 2019). The model was developed as part of Andrew Allison’s PhD Thesis in Geography from the School of Environment and Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. The model setup allows for alteration of geomorphic, ecological and social variables to suit the specific conditions found in various estuaries along the north east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
This model is not a predictive or forecasting model. It is designed to investigate potential directions of change in complex shallow coastal systems. This model must not be used for any purpose other than as a heuristic to facilitate researcher and stakeholder learning and for developing system understanding (as per Allison et al., 2018).

Policymakers decide on alternative policies facing restricted budgets and uncertain, ever-changing future. Designing housing policies is further difficult giving the heterogeneous characteristics of properties themselves and the intricacy of housing markets and the spatial context of cities. We propose PolicySpace2 (PS2) as an adapted and extended version of the open source PolicySpace agent-based model. PS2 is a computer simulation that relies on empirically detailed spatial data to model real estate, along with labor, credit and goods and services markets. Interaction among workers, firms, a bank, households and municipalities follow the literature benchmarks to integrate economic, spatial and transport literature. PS2 is applied to a comparison among three competing municipal housing policies aimed at alleviating poverty: (a) property acquisition and distribution, (b) rental vouchers and (c) monetary aid. Within the model context, the monetary aid, that is, a smaller amounts of help for a larger number of households, makes the economy perform better in terms of production, consumption, reduction of inequality and maintenance of financial duties. PS2 as such is also a framework that may be further adapted to a number of related research questions.

Ger Grouper

Stefani Crabtree | Published Tue Jan 5 18:35:05 2021

A “Ger” is a yurt style house used by pastoralists in Mongolia. This model simulates seasonal movements, fission/fusion dynamics, social interaction between households and how these relate to climate impacts.

AmphorABM

Stefani Crabtree | Published Tue Jan 5 18:07:20 2021

This model examines the economic interaction between Gaulish wheat farmers and Etruscan and Greek wine farming in 7th century B.C. France.

SESPES: socio-ecological systems and payment for ecosystem services model

Eulàlia Baulenas | Published Sun Dec 20 16:44:58 2020 | Last modified Sun Dec 20 18:43:41 2020

The purpose of this spatially-explicit agent-based model is to intervene in the debate about PES policy design, implementation and context. We use the case for a woodland-for-water payment for ecosystem services (PES) and model its implementation in a local area of Catalonia (NE Spain). The model is based on three sub-models. The structural contains four different designs of a PES policy. The social sub-model includes agent-based factors, by having four types of landowner categories managing or not the forests. This sub-model is based on behavioral studies and assumptions about reception and reaction to incentive policies from European-focused studies. The ecological sub-model is based on climate change data for the area. The output are the evolution of the ecological and social goals of the policy under different policy design scenarios. Our focus in Europe surges from the general context of land abandonment that many Mediterranean areas and Eastern countries are experiencing, and the growing interest from policy-makers and practitioners on the implementation of PES schemes to ameliorate this situation.

The model is designed to analyse the effects of mitigation measures on the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which is directly affected by ongoing land use change and has experienced widespread decline throughout Europe since the 1960s. As an input, we use two 4×4 km large model landscapes, which were generated by a landscape generator based on real field sizes and crop proportions and differed in average field size and crop composition. The crops grown annually are evaluated in terms of forage suitability, breeding suitability and crop richness for the hare. Six mitigation scenarios are implemented, defined by a 10 % increase in: (1) mixed silphie, (2) miscanthus, (3) grass-clover ley, (4) alfalfa, (5) set-aside, and (6) general crop richness. The model shows that that both landscape configuration and composition have a significant effect on hare population development, which responds particularly strongly to compositional changes.

The Bronze Age Collapse model (BACO model) is written using free NetLogo software v.6.0.3. The purpose of using the BACO model is to develop a tool to identify and analyse the main factors that made the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age socio-ecological system resilient or vulnerable in the face of the environmental aridity recorded in the Aegean. The model explores the relationship between dependent and independent variables. Independent variables are: a) inter-annual rainfall variability for the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in the eastern Mediterranean, b) intensity of raiding, c) percentage of marine, agricultural and other calorie sources included in the diet, d) soil erosion processes, e) farming assets, and d) storage capacity. Dependent variables are: a) human pressure for land, b) settlement patterns, c) number of commercial exchanges, d) demographic behaviour, and e) number of migrations.

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