Coupled ecological-social dynamics in a forested landscape: Spatial interactions and information flow

Akiko Satake, Heather M. Leslie, Yoh Iwasa, Simon A. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We develop an agent-based model for forest harvesting to study how interactions between neighboring land parcels and the degree of information flow among landowners influence harvesting patterns. We assume a forest is composed of a number of land parcels that are individually managed. Each parcel is either mature forested, just-harvested, or immature forested. The state transition of each parcel is described by a Markov chain that incorporates the successional dynamics of the forest ecosystem and landowners' decisions about harvesting. Landowners decide to cut trees based on the expected discounted utility of forested vs. harvested land. One landowner's decision to cut trees is assumed to cause the degradation of ecosystem services on the downstream forested parcels. We investigated two different scenarios: in a strongly-connected society, landowners are familiar with each other and have full information regarding the behavior of other landowners. In a weakly-connected society, landowners do not communicate and therefore need to make subjective predictions about the behavior of others without adequate information. Regardless of the type of society, we observed that the spatial interaction between management units caused a chain reaction of tree harvesting in the neighborhood even when healthy forested land provided greater utility than harvested land. The harvest rate was higher in a weakly-connected society than that in a strongly-connected society. If landowners employed a long-term perspective, the harvest rate declined, and a more robust forested landscape emerged. Our results highlight the importance of institutional arrangements that encourage a long-term perspective and increased information flow among landowners in order to achieve successful forest management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-707
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume246
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2007

Fingerprint

Social Dynamics
landowners
Harvesting
Information Flow
Ecosystem
Interaction
Ecosystems
Forest Management
Expected Utility
Agent-based Model
Forestry
State Transition
Markov Chains
Markov processes
Arrangement
Markov chain
Degradation
Scenarios
Unit
Prediction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this

Coupled ecological-social dynamics in a forested landscape : Spatial interactions and information flow. / Satake, Akiko; Leslie, Heather M.; Iwasa, Yoh; Levin, Simon A.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 246, No. 4, 21.06.2007, p. 695-707.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Satake, Akiko ; Leslie, Heather M. ; Iwasa, Yoh ; Levin, Simon A. / Coupled ecological-social dynamics in a forested landscape : Spatial interactions and information flow. In: Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2007 ; Vol. 246, No. 4. pp. 695-707.
@article{c8b3805c58f44e10b50eda868f6e7c63,
title = "Coupled ecological-social dynamics in a forested landscape: Spatial interactions and information flow",
abstract = "We develop an agent-based model for forest harvesting to study how interactions between neighboring land parcels and the degree of information flow among landowners influence harvesting patterns. We assume a forest is composed of a number of land parcels that are individually managed. Each parcel is either mature forested, just-harvested, or immature forested. The state transition of each parcel is described by a Markov chain that incorporates the successional dynamics of the forest ecosystem and landowners' decisions about harvesting. Landowners decide to cut trees based on the expected discounted utility of forested vs. harvested land. One landowner's decision to cut trees is assumed to cause the degradation of ecosystem services on the downstream forested parcels. We investigated two different scenarios: in a strongly-connected society, landowners are familiar with each other and have full information regarding the behavior of other landowners. In a weakly-connected society, landowners do not communicate and therefore need to make subjective predictions about the behavior of others without adequate information. Regardless of the type of society, we observed that the spatial interaction between management units caused a chain reaction of tree harvesting in the neighborhood even when healthy forested land provided greater utility than harvested land. The harvest rate was higher in a weakly-connected society than that in a strongly-connected society. If landowners employed a long-term perspective, the harvest rate declined, and a more robust forested landscape emerged. Our results highlight the importance of institutional arrangements that encourage a long-term perspective and increased information flow among landowners in order to achieve successful forest management.",
author = "Akiko Satake and Leslie, {Heather M.} and Yoh Iwasa and Levin, {Simon A.}",
year = "2007",
month = "6",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.01.014",
language = "English",
volume = "246",
pages = "695--707",
journal = "Journal of Theoretical Biology",
issn = "0022-5193",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Coupled ecological-social dynamics in a forested landscape

T2 - Spatial interactions and information flow

AU - Satake, Akiko

AU - Leslie, Heather M.

AU - Iwasa, Yoh

AU - Levin, Simon A.

PY - 2007/6/21

Y1 - 2007/6/21

N2 - We develop an agent-based model for forest harvesting to study how interactions between neighboring land parcels and the degree of information flow among landowners influence harvesting patterns. We assume a forest is composed of a number of land parcels that are individually managed. Each parcel is either mature forested, just-harvested, or immature forested. The state transition of each parcel is described by a Markov chain that incorporates the successional dynamics of the forest ecosystem and landowners' decisions about harvesting. Landowners decide to cut trees based on the expected discounted utility of forested vs. harvested land. One landowner's decision to cut trees is assumed to cause the degradation of ecosystem services on the downstream forested parcels. We investigated two different scenarios: in a strongly-connected society, landowners are familiar with each other and have full information regarding the behavior of other landowners. In a weakly-connected society, landowners do not communicate and therefore need to make subjective predictions about the behavior of others without adequate information. Regardless of the type of society, we observed that the spatial interaction between management units caused a chain reaction of tree harvesting in the neighborhood even when healthy forested land provided greater utility than harvested land. The harvest rate was higher in a weakly-connected society than that in a strongly-connected society. If landowners employed a long-term perspective, the harvest rate declined, and a more robust forested landscape emerged. Our results highlight the importance of institutional arrangements that encourage a long-term perspective and increased information flow among landowners in order to achieve successful forest management.

AB - We develop an agent-based model for forest harvesting to study how interactions between neighboring land parcels and the degree of information flow among landowners influence harvesting patterns. We assume a forest is composed of a number of land parcels that are individually managed. Each parcel is either mature forested, just-harvested, or immature forested. The state transition of each parcel is described by a Markov chain that incorporates the successional dynamics of the forest ecosystem and landowners' decisions about harvesting. Landowners decide to cut trees based on the expected discounted utility of forested vs. harvested land. One landowner's decision to cut trees is assumed to cause the degradation of ecosystem services on the downstream forested parcels. We investigated two different scenarios: in a strongly-connected society, landowners are familiar with each other and have full information regarding the behavior of other landowners. In a weakly-connected society, landowners do not communicate and therefore need to make subjective predictions about the behavior of others without adequate information. Regardless of the type of society, we observed that the spatial interaction between management units caused a chain reaction of tree harvesting in the neighborhood even when healthy forested land provided greater utility than harvested land. The harvest rate was higher in a weakly-connected society than that in a strongly-connected society. If landowners employed a long-term perspective, the harvest rate declined, and a more robust forested landscape emerged. Our results highlight the importance of institutional arrangements that encourage a long-term perspective and increased information flow among landowners in order to achieve successful forest management.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34248206794&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34248206794&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.01.014

DO - 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.01.014

M3 - Article

C2 - 17376488

AN - SCOPUS:34248206794

VL - 246

SP - 695

EP - 707

JO - Journal of Theoretical Biology

JF - Journal of Theoretical Biology

SN - 0022-5193

IS - 4

ER -