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The impact of human-environment interactions on the stability of forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems

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Title: The impact of human-environment interactions on the stability of forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems
Author: Innes, Clinton; Anand, Madhur; Bauch, Chris T.
Abstract: Forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems can exhibit alternative stables states, whereby under the same environmental conditions, the ecosystem could equally well reside either in one state or another, depending on the initial conditions. We develop a mathematical model that couples a simplified forest-grassland mosaic model to a dynamic model of opinions about conservation priorities in a population, based on perceptions of ecosystem rarity. Weak human influence increases the region of parameter space where alternative stable states are possible. However, strong human influence precludes bistability, such that forest and grassland either co-exist at a single, stable equilibrium, or their relative abundance oscillates. Moreover, a perturbation can shift the system from a stable state to an oscillatory state. We conclude that human-environment interactions can qualitatively alter the composition of forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems. The human role in such systems should be viewed as dynamic, responsive element rather than as a fixed, unchanging entity.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14231
Date: 2013
Rights: Attribution
Rights Holder: Copyright 2013 Innes et al.
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Citation: Innes, C., Anand, M. and Bauch, C. T. (2013). The impace of human-environment interactions on the stability of forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems. Scientific Reports. 3:2689. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep0689


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