Modelling farmer decision-making to anticipate tradeoffs between provisioning ecosystem services and biodiversity

EE Guillem, D Murray-Rust, DT Robinson, AP Barnes, MDA Rounsevell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    In this paper, an agent-based model of heterogeneous farmer decision-making was coupled with an individual-based model of skylark breeding populations, and applied to a small intensive arable catchment in Scotland. The impacts of farmer decisions on a tradeoff between food and bioenergy production, and skylark numbers, were simulated under the assumptions of three socio-economic scenarios until the year 2050. Bioenergy and food production had a significant negative effect on adult and fledgling skylarks. In a business-as-usual context, the production of food and bioenergy increases smoothly, and the number of skylarks is more stable over time than in other scenarios. Food production was higher in an economic liberalisation scenario, due to intensive management and higher yield performance. This explained the low average number of skylarks found at the landscape level in this scenario. The number of skylarks was highest in a sustainability-oriented scenario, but a sharp decrease was observed from 2035 onwards due to the large area planted with bioenergy crops. The different values for economic, environmental and social attributes of farmer decisions played an important role in the land use mosaic, the implementation of ecologically-related actions and on the provision of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Overall, results suggest that a re-assessment of policy targets and design is necessary tomaximise environmental management efficiency at the catchment level by taking into account the heterogeneity in farmer objectives and the tradeoffs in ecosystem services provision. The novel approach of coupling an ABM with an IBM is encouraged in further land use related studies. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12 - 23
    Number of pages12
    JournalAgricultural Systems
    Volume137
    DOIs
    Publication statusPrint publication - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    1023375

    Keywords

    • Agent-based model
    • Bioenergy crops
    • Farmer behaviour
    • Food production
    • Land use change
    • Skylark

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Modelling farmer decision-making to anticipate tradeoffs between provisioning ecosystem services and biodiversity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this