Journal article

Incorporating between-expert uncertainty into state-and-transition simulation models for forest restoration

Christina A Czembor, Peter A Vesk



Anthropogenic utilization of forests alters vegetation structure and can negatively affect flora and fauna. Ecological simulation models assist in restoring such degraded forests by predicting the effects of alternative management and restoration actions on vegetation structure. However, the lack of empirical ecological data to parameterize models often necessitates the use of expert opinion. Differences in opinion between experts may be large and lead to uncertainty in model predictions, but this is rarely acknowledged in forest simulation models. In this paper, we constructed state-and-transition simulation models (STSMs) based on expert opinion to predict whether management will expedite ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by HREC application

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the experts who participated in this study: A. Bennett, J. Cuddy, R. Hateley, M. Keatley, J. Kellas, R. Price, A. Tolsma, and L. Vearing. We also thank L. Shirley, T. Walshe, E. Rumpff, and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments and criticisms on this manuscript. We thank L. Frid, J. Merzenich, and K. Blankenship for their input regarding VDDT model construction, as well as W. Morris and B. Wintle for assistance with statistical analyses. T. Gretton provided access to the Department of Sustainability and Environment's fire history records. C. Czembor was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award and funds from The Ecological Society of Australia and The Botany Foundation at the University of Melbourne. Ethics approval was granted for this project on HREC application 0717119.