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Title: Scale and the representation of human agency in the modeling of agroecosystems

Human agency is an essential determinant of the dynamics of agroecosystems. However, the manner in which agency is represented within different approaches to agroecosystem modeling is largely contingent on the scales of analysis and the conceptualization of the system of interest. While appropriate at times, narrow conceptualizations of agroecosystems can preclude consideration for how agency manifests at different scales, thereby marginalizing processes, feedbacks, and constraints that would otherwise affect model results. Modifications to the existing modeling toolkit may therefore enable more holistic representations of human agency. Model integration can assist with the development of multi-scale agroecosystem modeling frameworks that capture different aspects of agency. In addition, expanding the use of socioeconomic scenarios and stakeholder participation can assist in explicitly defining context-dependent elements of scale and agency. Finally, such approaches, however, should be accompanied by greater recognition of the meta agency of model users and the need for more critical evaluation of model selection and application.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Climate Change Science Inst.
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Climate Change Science Inst.; Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1265513
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; ERKP719
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal ID: ISSN 1877-3435
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES agriculture; scale; human agency; sustainability; modeling; climate change