Presenter/Author Information

O. Jakoby
M. F. Quaas
Birgit Müller
Karin Frank

Keywords

semi-arid rangelands, generic simulation model, risk management, environmental uncertainty, climate change

Start Date

1-7-2010 12:00 AM

Description

Since livestock grazing is the most important type of land-use in arid and semi-arid rangelands with uncertain and highly variable climatic conditions, well adapted grazing strategies are crucial for effective risk management. However, local environmental characteristics and individual needs and perception lead to a broad range of different management forms used in practice. In this paper we (i) analyse how uncertain climate conditions and the individual farmer’s characteristics like risk aversion, economic constraints and effort cost affect the choice of management, (ii) evaluate the viability of different management options, and in particular (iii) their robustness under climate variability. We use a generic stochastic simulation model that consists of a physiologically well-founded vegetation model combined with a rule-based management model. Thereby, we implement a feedback of grazing management and rangeland state. Changes in the rangeland state are driven by stochastic precipitation and livestock grazing. In turn all management actions taken by a farmer adapt to changes in the rangeland condition. Management is temporally resolved on a weekly scale and spatially on the local scale of an individual farm. With our approach we can characterise strategies that are robust over a wide range of climatic condition and those that are vulnerable to unexpected changes. Hence, we can identify appropriate strategies for an adaptation to climatic risk and therefore support sustainable land-use.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Risk management in an uncertain environment - A study from semi-arid grazing systems

Since livestock grazing is the most important type of land-use in arid and semi-arid rangelands with uncertain and highly variable climatic conditions, well adapted grazing strategies are crucial for effective risk management. However, local environmental characteristics and individual needs and perception lead to a broad range of different management forms used in practice. In this paper we (i) analyse how uncertain climate conditions and the individual farmer’s characteristics like risk aversion, economic constraints and effort cost affect the choice of management, (ii) evaluate the viability of different management options, and in particular (iii) their robustness under climate variability. We use a generic stochastic simulation model that consists of a physiologically well-founded vegetation model combined with a rule-based management model. Thereby, we implement a feedback of grazing management and rangeland state. Changes in the rangeland state are driven by stochastic precipitation and livestock grazing. In turn all management actions taken by a farmer adapt to changes in the rangeland condition. Management is temporally resolved on a weekly scale and spatially on the local scale of an individual farm. With our approach we can characterise strategies that are robust over a wide range of climatic condition and those that are vulnerable to unexpected changes. Hence, we can identify appropriate strategies for an adaptation to climatic risk and therefore support sustainable land-use.