Modelos ecológicos: descripción, explicación y predicción

Ecosistemas 12/2013; 22(3):1-5. DOI: 10.7818/ECOS.2013.22-3.01
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    ABSTRACT: The predominant philosophy underlying most environmental modelling is a form of pragmatic realism. The limitations of this approach in practical applications are discussed, in particular, in relation to questions of scale, nonlinearity, and uniqueness of place. A new approach arising out of the concept of equifinality of models (structures and parameter sets) in application is outlined in the form of an uncertain "landscape space" to model space mapping. The possibility of hypothesis testing within this framework is proposed as a means of refining the mapping, with a focus on the differentiation of function within the model space. The approach combines elements of instrumentalism, relativism, Bayesianism and pragmatism while allowing the realist stance that underlies much of the practice of environmental modelling as a fundamental aim. It may be an interim philosophy that is awaiting developments in measurement technique to allow further refinement, but allows some coherent guidance about how to be specific in presenting predictions to end-users.
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic simulation of socio-ecological Systems: sustainability in Biosphere Reserves. The application of a systemic perspective on the management of Biosphere Reserves is important to address the close relationships between the environmental and socio-economic processes and to take into account potential limiting factors, particularly evident in the case of insular arid systems as the Fuerteventura Biosphere Reserve (FBR), (Canary Islands). The tourist development on the island is leading to increasing land dedicated to anthropogenic uses, which is emphasizing the vulnerability of this system to other processes such as overgrazing and degradation of natural habitats that host numerous endangered species. In order to elaborate a tool which contributes to a more balanced and multifunctional development of the insular biosphere reserves, a dynamic model for FBR has been developed, structured in 5 model sectors: land use, biodiversity conservation, water resources, environmental quality and socio-touristic. The model, calibrated with data of the 1996–2011 period, integrates a set of 30 sustainability indicators to monitor their changes and interactions in the FBR over time. Results regarding comparison between observed and simulated values and the verification tests applied showed that the model is able to match the behaviour of this socio-ecological system. This decision-support tool allows analyzing the recent changes and trade-offs between the main environmental factors and indicators, thereby facilitating a management aimed to minimize those trade-offs and reinforce sustainable development policies in the Reserve.
    Ecosistemas. 01/2013; 22(3):74-83.


Available from
May 17, 2014