State-and-transition Modelling

This page considers state-and-transition models (STMs), which are tools to explain the causes and consequences of ecosystem change. The content on this page discusses general types of STMs, including conceptual STMs, spatial and non-spatial state-and-transition simulation models, process-based STMs and ecosystem service-based STMs.

The Chapter summary video gives a brief introduction and summary of this group of methods, what SES problems/questions they are useful for, and key resources needed to conduct the methods. The methods video/s introduce specific methods, including their origin and broad purpose, what SES problems/questions the specific method is useful for, examples of the method in use and key resources needed. The Case Studies demonstrate the method in action in more detail, including an introduction to the context and issue, how the method was used, the outcomes of the process and the challenges of implementing the method. The labs/activities give an example of a teaching activity relating to this group of methods, including the objectives of the activity, resources needed, steps to follow and outcomes/evaluation options.

More details can be found in Chapter 27 of the Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems.

Chapter summary:

This video introduces the concept of State-and-transition Modelling.

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Case Studies

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Lab teaching/ activity

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Key Publications related to State-and-transition Modelling:
  • Bestelmeyer, B.T., A. Ash, J.R. Brown, B. Densambuu, M. Fernández-Giménez, J. Johanson, M. Levi et al. 2017. ‘State and Transition Models: Theory, Applications, and Challenges.’ In Rangeland Sys-tems: Processes, Management and Challenges, edited by D.D. Briske, 303–345. Cham: Springer.
  • Briske, D.D., B.T. Bestelmeyer, T.K. Stringham, and P.L. Shaver. 2008. ‘Recommendations for De-velopment of Resilience-based State-and-transition Models.’ Rangeland Ecology & Management 61(4): 359 –3 67.
  • Knapp, C.N., M. Fernández-Giménez, and E. Kachergis. 2010. ‘The Role of Local Knowledge in State-and-Transition Model Development.’ Rangelands 32(6): 31–36.