State-and-Transition Models: Conceptual Versus Simulation Perspectives, Usefulness and Breadth of Use, and Land Management Applications

  • Louis ProvencherEmail author
  • Leonardo Frid
  • Christina Czembor
  • Jeffrey T. Morisette
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)


State-and-Transition Simulation Modeling (STSM) is a quantitative analysis method that can consolidate a wide array of resource management issues under a “what-if” scenario exercise. STSM can be seen as an ensemble of models, such as climate models, ecological models, and economic models that incorporate human dimensions and management options. This chapter presents STSM as a tool to help synthesize information on social–ecological systems and to investigate some of the management issues associated with exotic annual Bromus species, which have been described elsewhere in this book. Definitions, terminology, and perspectives on conceptual and computer-simulated stochastic state-and-transition models are given first, followed by a brief review of past STSM studies relevant to the management of Bromus species. A detailed case study illustrates the usefulness of STSM for land management. As a whole, this chapter is intended to demonstrate how STSM can help both managers and scientists: (a) determine efficient resource allocation for monitoring nonnative grasses; (b) evaluate sources of uncertainty in model simulation results involving expert opinion, and their consequences for management decisions; and (c) provide insight into the consequences of predicted local climate change effects on ecological systems invaded by exotic annual Bromus species.


State-and-transition Conceptual model Simulation Uncertainty Climate change 



Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis Provencher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leonardo Frid
    • 2
  • Christina Czembor
    • 3
  • Jeffrey T. Morisette
    • 4
  1. 1.The Nature ConservancyRenoUSA
  2. 2.Apex Resource Management Solutions Ltd.Bowen IslandCanada
  3. 3.Knight Piésold Ltd.VancouverCanada
  4. 4.US Geological SurveyNorth Central Climate Science CenterFort CollinsUSA

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