4th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Eva Contreras Arribas
Session Name Poster Session: Science, stakeholders and decision-making
Poster Number 16
Author(s) Eva Contreras Arribas,  Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville (Presenting Author)
  Gregory A. Kiker,  Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville
  Stephen G. Perz, Sociology and Criminology and Law Department, University of Florida, Gainesville
  Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville
  Process and network complexity: evaluation of land use change and ecological services through an actor-based model in the Southwest Amazon Region
  Changes in society, technology and infrastructure have contributed substantial net benefits to human welfare and economic development, but often with growing costs in the degradation of many ecosystems and their environmental services. The long-term sustainability of the global system, including water resources, will depend of how managers, government and society face up these interactions in the future. This study was conducted to determine the implications of the construction and paving of the Inter-Oceanic Highway in the MAP (Madre de Dios/Peru-Acre/Brazil-Pando/Bolivia) frontier of southwestern Amazon and its effects in land use changes and consequent changes in ecological services. To explore these dynamics, a series of agent-based models considering several different levels of household and landscape complexity were developed with a multidisciplinary team of social scientists, ecologists and biological engineers. Each model version represented different levels of process and network complexity. Process complexity refers to the incorporation of increasingly intricate algorithms, parameters, and feedbacks while network complexity considers the diversity of local agents and their interconnections, markets, land tenure and forest resources. Each model version simulates the temporal and spatial impacts of highway paving on household livelihoods, market connectivity and land tenure along with changes in land use/land cover and concomitant ecological services. As a result, the increase of the complexity within each model version allows a different and comparative representation of the heterogeneous spatial environment, showing results at local and regional scale, including interactions and mutual feedbacks between human behavior and environmental consequences. Each of these agent model renditions provides useful insights into complex decision making and adaptive, spatial management amongst local populations, governance agents and the ecological services.