Socio-Ecology  (S) Session 4

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Time and Date: 16:00 - 17:20 on 22nd Sep 2016

Room: D - Verwey kamer

Chair: Vincent Traag

332 Behavioural Economics in Social-Ecological Systems with Thresholds [abstract]
Abstract: How does people behave when dealing with situations pervaded by thresholds? Imagine you’re a fisherman whose livelihoods depend on a resource on the brink to collapse, what would you do? and what do you think others will do? Here we report results form a field experiment with fishermen from four coastal communities in the Colombian Caribbean. A dynamic game with 256 fishermen helped us investigate behavioural responses to the existence of thresholds (probability =1 ), risk (threshold with a climate event with known probability of 0.5) and uncertainty (threshold with an unknown probability climate event). Communication was allowed during the game and the social dilemma was confronted in groups of 4 fishermen. We found that fishermen facing thresholds presented a more conservative behaviour on the exploration of the parameter space of resource exploitation. Some groups that crossed the threshold managed to recover to a regime of high fish reproduction rate. However, complementary survey data reveals that groups that collapsed the resource in the game come often from communities with high livelihood diversification, lower resource dependence and strongly exposed to infrastructure development. We speculate that the later translates on higher noise levels on resource dynamics which decouples or mask the relationship between fishing efforts and stock size encouraging a more explorative behaviour of fishing effort in real life. This context is brought to our artificial game and leaves statistical signatures on resource exploitation patterns. In general, people adopt a precautionary behaviour when dealing with common pool resource dilemmas with thresholds. However, stochasticity can trigger the opposite behaviour.
Juan Carlos Rocha Gordo, Caroline Schill, Therese Lindahl and Anne Sophie Crépin
87 Self-Organization of Power-Law Vegetation Niches in Agriculture with Ecological Optimum [abstract]
Abstract: Sustainable farming based on the self-organization of ecosystem is an important alternative for smallholders. In contrast to conventional monoculture system based on a strong control and load to environment, complex systems perspective can provide biodiversity-based polyculture, in which various emergent ecosystem functions serve as a principal source of productivity and resilience. This article investigates the statistics of vegetation cover in ecological optimum with a simple model of niche differentiation, and discuss the origin of power law observed in field data. We also focus on farming application and analyze the yield in response to crop diversity. Power-law distribution of crops diverges the mean yield of single crop into large fluctuation, therefore it requires alternative conception of yield at plant community level. With the use of information entropy as management cost and basic conception of measure integration of niche distribution, basic strategy of adaptive diversification of vegetation portfolio is proposed, in order to assure minimum harvest for food security in changing environment. Statistics of natural vegetation and mixed polyculture of crops are demonstrated for the proof of concept.
Masatoshi Funabashi
60 On the emergence of cooperation under vigilance: a multiplex network approach [abstract]
Abstract: Understanding the evolution of cooperation is one of the most fascinating challenges in many disciplines. There is a large amount of literature analysing the mechanisms for cooperation to emerge and to be sustained, both from theoretical and experimental studies. Another way to understand the evolution of cooperation in human societies consist in deciphering the cooperative behaviour in ancient communities from historical records. In a previous work we studied cooperation in the Yamana society that inhabited Argentina and observed that the emergence of an informal network of vigilance promoted cooperation. Several field studies have found evidence of humans exposing a pro-social behaviour when being observed by others and also under the presence of subtle cues of being watched. The observability effect (the increase of cooperation under vigilance) seems to be driven by our reputational concerns, bringing the indirect reciprocity mechanism into play. This work explores the effect of vigilance on cooperation in networked systems, in the framework of the Prisoners’ Dilemma game. We study the bidirectionally-coupled vigilance and game dynamics. We quantify the impact of the topological structure of the network, and the interplay between vigilance and behaviour, on the outcome of cooperation. Moreover, we study the impact of vigilance on cooperation when the individuals have to afford a cost to become vigilant actors. We also analyse the influence of network multiplexity, i.e. the interconnection of different topological structures for the vigilance and the game networks, and the impact of correlated multiplexity, i.e. when node degrees of the multiplex layers are not randomly distributed but correlated. Our results show that vigilant actors can significantly affect the levels of cooperation, not only by enhancing cooperation in regions of the phase diagram where cooperation is expected to hold, but also by altering the critical point for the emergence of cooperation.
María Pereda
244 Cascading effects of critical transitions in social-ecological systems [abstract]
Abstract: Critical transitions in nature and society are likely to occur more often and severe as humans increase they pressure on the world ecosystems. Yet it is largely unknown how these transitions will interact, whether the occurrence of one will increase the likelihood of another, and whether these potential teleconnections (social and ecological) correlate critical transition in distant places. Here we present a framework for exploring three types of potential cascading effects of critical transitions: forks, domino effects and inconvenient feedbacks. Drivers and feedback mechanisms are reduced to a network form that allow us to explore drivers co-occurrence (forks). Sharing drivers is likely to increase correlation in time or space among critical transitions but not necessarily interdependence. Random walks on causal networks allow us to detect and compare communities of common drivers and feedback mechanisms across different critical transitions. Domino effects and inconvenient feedbacks were identified by mapping new circular pathways on coupled networks that have not been previously reported. The method serves as a platform for hypothesis exploration of plausible new feedbacks between critical transitions in social-ecological systems; it helps to scope structural interdependence and hence an avenue for future modelling and empirical testing of regime shifts coupling.
Juan Carlos Rocha Gordo