Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2024-57
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2024-57
Submitted as: model description paper
 | 
27 May 2024
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 27 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Learning from conceptual models – a study of emergence of cooperation towards resource protection in a social-ecological system

Saeed Harati-Asl, Liliana Perez, and Roberto Molowny-Horas

Abstract. Engaging ecological resource users in intervention to protect the resource is challenging for governments due to self-interest of users and uncertainty about intervention consequences. Focusing on a case of forest insect infestations, we addressed questions of resource protection and environmentally responsible behavior promotion with a conceptual model. We coupled a forest infestation model with a social model in which a governing agent applies a mechanism for recognition and promotion of environmentally responsible behavior among several user agents. We ran the coupled model in various scenarios with a Reinforcement Learning algorithm for the governing agent as well as best-case, worst-case, and random baselines. Results showed that a proper recognition policy facilitates emergence of environmentally responsible behavior. However, ecosystem health may deteriorate due to temporal differences between the social and ecological systems. Our work shows it is possible to gain insight about complexities of social-ecological systems with conceptual models through scenario analysis.

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Saeed Harati-Asl, Liliana Perez, and Roberto Molowny-Horas

Status: open (until 22 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Saeed Harati-Asl, Liliana Perez, and Roberto Molowny-Horas

Data sets

Datasets for model flipflopSEM Saeed Harati-Asl, Liliana Perez, and Roberto Molowny-Horas https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/URJQ8

Model code and software

flipflopSEM Saeed Harati-Asl, Liliana Perez, and Roberto Molowny-Horas https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11245520

Saeed Harati-Asl, Liliana Perez, and Roberto Molowny-Horas

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Short summary
Social-ecological systems are the subject of many sustainability problems. Because of the complexity of these systems we must be careful when intervening in them, otherwise we may cause irreversible damage. Using computer models, we can gain insight about these complex systems without harming them. In this paper we describe how we connected an ecological model of forest insect infestation with a social model of cooperation, and simulated an intervention measure to save a forest from infestation.