Socio-ecological systems modelling of coastal urban area under a changing climate – Case study for Ubatuba, Brazil

Oliveira, B.M., Boumans, R., Fath, B. ORCID:, & Harari, J. (2022). Socio-ecological systems modelling of coastal urban area under a changing climate – Case study for Ubatuba, Brazil. Ecological Modelling 468 e109953. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2022.109953.

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Understanding the complex dynamics between society and nature is a critical contribution of ecological modelling. Integrated views of human-nature relations as well as tools and frameworks for studying these relations are gaining ground. A socio-ecological systems (SES) perspective therefore embraces both social and environmental factors that uses nonlinearities, feedbacks, models, and multi-level networks for understanding and studying those phenomena. When undesired drivers as climate change are also taken into account, the most urgent question is how these critical socio–ecological systems will behave given the stresses they endure. This work had the objective of creating a new simulation of a coastal SES from Brazil that is able to integrate several climatic and social variables through a dynamic and coupled model, and forecast its behavior in the future according to scenarios. Specifically, a systems dynamics simulation model using MIMES (Multiscale Integrated Model of Ecosystem Services) was developed for Ubatuba, a coastal city highly dependent and influenced by tourism. Results showed good correspondence between the model and the data when testing several environmental inputs (wind speed and direction, cloud cover, sea surface temperature, precipitation patterns). The model simulated the population dynamics of 15 biological groups from 2010 to 2100 under different scenarios. Climate change will reduce most of populations in a range from −0.13% (± 0.0%) to −10.31% (± 0.0%). There are groups where the influence of climate change is not significant (Bivalve, Brachyuran, pelagic feeding fish and benthic feeding fish) with variations from 0 to 2% and others with moderate significance (Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, and Enterococcus) with variations >2%. Tourists reacting to water quality degradation is very relevant in Enterococcus population (with a reduction of 34%). Results show the urban activities strongly influencing the biological populations and that these impacts depend on the scenario context. This suggests a policy that limits the number of tourists and increases the water quality at the same time. Therefore, the model's spatial simulation of this complex socio-ecological system can be used to develop an integrative decision-making tool to help the city manage its natural capital and adapt to its changes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Socio–ecological systems; Ecological models; MIMES: Multiscale integrated model of ecosystem services; Climate change scenarios; Brazil
Research Programs: Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA)
Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) > Systemic Risk and Resilience (SYRR)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2022 08:58
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2022 10:30

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