WP4: Social-Ecological Dynamics

Prof. Dr. Birgit Müller & Julia Kunkel

Department of Ecological Modelling, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ Leipzig, Germany

Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany

In Work Package 4, we explore the development of grassland systems under compound extreme events from a dynamic perspective. Using an agent-based model, we investigate the impact of taking up financial, natural and social insurance on farmers’ management strategies, i.e. cutting frequency, grazing intensity and fertilizer use. The management applied in turn influences the ecosystem services of the grassland such as yield quantity and quality as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Thereby, we aim for revealing cause-effect relationships between different types of insurance and the choice of sustainable grassland management under climate risk, as well as the long-term state of the grassland.

With our agent-based modelling approach, we will integrate heterogeneous farmers. Different behavioural habits and risk preferences, that lead to different insurance uptake decisions and management activities, will be taken into account. In addition, the agent-based modelling approach allows us to consider social network effects. Thus, hypotheses on the influence of interaction between farmers as well as with consumers will be potentially investigated, e.g. that the uptake of insurance solutions might be adopted by peer farmers.

Data and relationships obtained in the other work packages serve as input for the parameterisation of the agent-based model. From our results, we want to derive implications for appropriate insurance designs and corresponding policy measures to support sustainable grassland use under climate risks (within WP5).