Every two years, the International Environmental Modelling & Software Society (iEMSs) holds its international conference. The next one will take place in Toulouse, France, on July 10-14, 2016 (www.iemss.org/sites/iemss2016/index.php). Within this event, we are organizing a session dedicated to modelling issues in environmental and agricultural management problems stated in terms of ecosystem services. We invite you and your colleagues to consider a contribution to this session described in the attached file.

Looking forward to meeting you at iEMSs2016
R. Martin-Clouaire, N. Peyrard, R. Sabbadin, S. Gaba, V. Bretagnolle

Session B4: Environmental and agricultural modelling for ecosystem services
Organisers: R. Martin-Clouaire, N. Peyrard, R. Sabbadin, S. Gaba, V. Bretagnolle

Although the body of scientific literature on ecosystem services (ES) is increasing rapidly, many challenges remain in the application of the concept to decision-making problems in environmental and agricultural management, especially regarding modelling. Numerous attempts have been reported on the quantification and spatial mapping, from empirical data, of the ES that are important for human well-being. However, the literature tells little about how such information together with ecosystem functioning knowledge and stakeholders’ goals and preferences could be combined to inform decisions that will exploit or impact ES. This is the challenge to tackle if we want to understand the effects of management on the provisioning of ES and also to explore new management strategies for targeted ES or bundles of ES.
The features that give rise to complex decisional problems include the need to consider many interactive, non-linear and some time irreversible biophysical processes operating at various temporal and spatial scales. Incorporating ES into decision systems also require considering the limited understanding and observability of these processes, the poor predictability of management action effects on ES, the synergies and antagonisms between ES, and the key role played by the socio-economic context at different organizational levels.
This session will offer a forum to discuss about the progresses on the identification, formalisation, and computational aspects of modelling challenges raised by specific needs of management problems stated in terms of provision of bundles of ES. We encourage submissions tackling a broad range of decision-making problems (spatial configuration, planning of actions, production process control, coordination of actions, multi-attribute and multi-stakeholder decision-making…) and modelling approaches from mathematics, statistics and computer sciences disciplines (Bayesian influence diagrams, system dynamics, discrete-event systems, constraint-based models, agent-based models…).
Aspects of interests, not necessarily exhaustive, include model design, data requirement, validation procedure, types of target users and types of interactions between them, quantitative-qualitative knowledge integration, interface between biophysical processes and anthropological aspects…
Presentations of limits, research issues and open questions or results obtained so far in case studies are welcome.
Contributors may either submit an abstract or a brief technical paper (8 pages max) for
either oral or poster presentation. Accepted technical papers will be published in the
conference proceedings.

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