An approximate Bayesian algorithm for training fuzzy cognitive map models of forest responses to deer control in a New Zealand adaptive management experiment

Ramsey, David S. L., Forsyth, David M., Veltman, Clare J., Nicol, Simon J., Todd, Charles R., Allen, Robert B., Allen, Will J., Bellingham, Peter J., Richardson, Sarah J., Jacobson, Chris L. and Barker, Richard J. (2012) An approximate Bayesian algorithm for training fuzzy cognitive map models of forest responses to deer control in a New Zealand adaptive management experiment. Ecological Modelling, 240 93-104. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.04.022


Author Ramsey, David S. L.
Forsyth, David M.
Veltman, Clare J.
Nicol, Simon J.
Todd, Charles R.
Allen, Robert B.
Allen, Will J.
Bellingham, Peter J.
Richardson, Sarah J.
Jacobson, Chris L.
Barker, Richard J.
Total Author Count Override 11
Title An approximate Bayesian algorithm for training fuzzy cognitive map models of forest responses to deer control in a New Zealand adaptive management experiment
Journal name Ecological Modelling   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-3800
1872-7026
Publication date 2012-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.04.022
Volume 240
Start page 93
End page 104
Total pages 12
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract Forest management decisions are characterised by a high level of uncertainty because responses reflect a range of interacting ecological processes. Faced with this situation, modelling can be a useful tool for characterising that uncertainty and for predicting its impacts on management decisions. In the adaptive management paradigm, different model structures are essentially hypotheses of system behaviour that are formulated to encapsulate structural uncertainty about the system. Here we report upon the initial stages of a management-scale experiment designed to increase our understanding of the effects of deer control on forest ecosystems in New Zealand. Using a modelling approach based on fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM) we were able to formalise expert knowledge and explore how growth rates of tree seedlings would respond to lower deer densities, with or without responses by other plants in the forest understorey. Alternative models predicted that the response of seedling growth and biomass in small (16m 2) plots used in the experiment were dependent on hypotheses about the strength of plant competition for soil nutrients and moisture which, in turn, were conditional on light availability in the plot. To learn about which model best may describe the system, we used recently proposed methods in Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) to perform model selection and inference using a simulated data set generated from one of our candidate models. Using a novel Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm together with ABC model selection on our simulated data we show that these procedures provide reliable model selection and parameter inference and hence, should be suitable for confronting our candidate FCM models with data collected at the end of the experiment.
Keyword Approximate Bayesian computation
Fuzzy logic
Herbivory
Seedling growth
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2013 Collection
 
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