, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 427-459
Date: 19 May 2010

Long-term effects of family planning and other determinants of fertility on population and environment: agent-based modeling evidence from Wolong Nature Reserve, China

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The practice of family planning has a long history, but its environmental implications have not often been considered. Using data from Wolong Nature Reserve for the conservation of the world-famous giant pandas in China, we employ a spatially explicit agent-based model to simulate how family-planning and other fertility-related decisions may affect human population, household number, and panda habitat over time. Simulation results indicate that (1) population size has the shortest time lag in response to changes in family-planning decisions, and panda habitat has the longest time lag; (2) the amount of panda habitat is more sensitive to factors affecting number of households than those affecting population size; (3) although not large in quantity nor changing landscape fragmentation substantially, the associated changes in habitat are in good areas for the panda. This study offers a novel approach to studying long-term demographic and environmental effects of family-planning and fertility-related decisions across space.