The rangelands of the Mongolian Plateau are dynamic social-ecological systems that are influenced by a complex network of drivers, including climate, social institutions, market forces and broad scale policy directives regarding land tenure, use, and management. These factors are linked via feedbacks and often exhibit non-linear relationships. The sustainability and resilience of rangelands in this region are dependent on the ability of residents and policy makers to respond and adapt to uncertainties in climate and the economy. However the complex nature of these systems make it difficult to predict how changes in one aspect of the system will affect the functioning of other aspects and therefore what adaptations might be most advantageous.
Along with colleagues at SNRE and the Michigan State University Global Change Center, we are developing a System Dynamics Model to understand how the human, natural, and land-use systems in the Mongolian rangeland ecosystem interact to produce dynamic outcomes in both grassland productivity and economic well-being of residents. Pending Publications: Allington, G.R.H., W. Li, and D.G. Brown. (2016) Urbanization and environmental policy effect on the future availability of grazing resources on the Mongolian Plateau: modeling socio-environmental system dynamics. In press at Environmental Science and Policy. [page proofs avail now!]
Fernandez-Gimenez, M., G.R.H. Allington, D.G. Brown, J. Chen. Adapting the “Story and Simulation” approach to a complex trans-boundary social-ecological system. In prep. for Ecology & Society.
Allington, G.R.H., W. Li and D.G. Brown. 2015. Modeling system dynamics in rangelands of the Mongolian Plateau. In: M.E.Fernandez-Gimenez, B. Baival, S.R. Fassnacht and D. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of the Building Resilience of Mongolian Rangelands: A Trans-disciplinary Research Conference, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, June 9-10, 2015. Available at: http://bit.ly/1MvTtaK