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The hitchhiker's guide to generic ecological-economic modelling of land-use-based biodiversity conservation policies

Martin Drechsler, Frank Wätzold and Volker Grimm

Ecological Modelling, 2022, vol. 465, issue C

Abstract: Biodiversity loss is a result of interacting ecological and economic factors, and it must be addressed through an analysis of biodiversity conservation policies. Ecological-economic modelling is a helpful approach to this analysis, but it is also challenging since modellers often have a specific disciplinary background and tend to misrepresent either the ecological or economic aspects. Here, we introduce some of the most important concepts from both disciplines, and since the two modelling cultures also differ between the two disciplines, we present an integrated, consistent guide through all the steps of generic ecological-economic modelling, such as formulation of the research question, development of the conceptual model, model parametrisation and analysis, and interpretation of model results. Although we focus on generic models aimed at a general understanding of causes and remedies for biodiversity loss, the concepts and guidance provided here may also help in the modelling of more specific conservation problems. This guide is aimed at the intersection of three disciplines: ecology, economics and mathematical modelling, and addresses readers who have some knowledge in at least one of these disciplines and want to learn about the others to build and analyse generic ecological-economic models. Compared to textbooks, the guide focuses on the practice of modelling rather than lengthy explanations of theoretical concepts. We attempt to demonstrate that generic ecological-economic modelling does not require magical powers and instead is a manageable exercise.

Keywords: Biodiversity; Conservation policy; Ecological-economic modelling; Generic modelling; Land use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2021.109861

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