Wednesday 7
Which Mathematical Formalizations of Resilience and What For?
Guillaume Deffuant, Jean Denis Mathias
› 14:35 - 15:30 (55min)
› Antigone 1
Quantification of vulnerability and resilience of agro-ecosystems by exploratory systems modeling
Jeroen Groot  1@  , José Cortez-Arriola  1@  , Walter Rossing  1@  , Johannes Scholberg  1@  , Ricardo Améndola Massiotti  2@  , Pablo Tittonell  3@  
1 : Wageningen University, Farming Systems Ecology Group  (WU-FSE)
P.O. Box 563, 6700 AN Wageningen, The Netherlands -  Pays-Bas
2 : Chapingo University
3 : Wageningen University  (WU)  -  Website
Farming Systems Ecology Group, Plant Sciences Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands -  Pays-Bas

Vulnerability and resilience are two crucial attributes of social-ecological systems that are used to analyze the response to disturbances. Quantitative assessments of these attributes contributing to reduced subjectivity and abstractness are scarce. We present a generic quantitative approach to analyze and assess the vulnerability, buffer capacity and adaptive capacity of agroecosystems. We related these attributes to solution spaces that represent the possible changes in terms of selected performance indicators as affected by adjustments in components, processes and management of the systems. We expressed the vulnerability of the system as the Euclidian distance of performance indicators between original and disturbed systems. The buffer capacity was derived from the size of the solution space that could be obtained after reconfiguration of farm components (crops, animals, fertilizers, etc.) that were present on the original farm, whereas the assessment of adaptive capacity was derived in a similar way but after allowing innovation by introducing new components to the farm. We applied these concepts to a small family-based (FB) and a larger semi-specialized (SS) dairy farm in Northwest Michoacán, Mexico. After a disturbance resulting in a yield decline the economic and one of the environmental performance indicators (profitability and soil organic matter) were negatively affects on both farms. The scope for recovery was larger for the SS farm than for the FB farm, as reflected in higher buffer and adaptive capacity. Improvements in profitability and organic matter balance would require considerable changes in the farm configurations, and thus flexibility in farm management. For a farmer with the managerial ability to make the required changes to move through the solution space the whole-system resilience would be large. The approach we present here offers a quantitative representation of vulnerability and resilience concepts, based on a combined assessment of the social and ecological dimensions of agroecosystems.

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