Perspectives for the Study of the Galapagos Islands: Complex Systems and Human–Environment Interactions (2013).. Walsh, Stephen J. & Mena, Carlos F. (Eds.) (pp. 49-67). New York: Springer.
Complexity theory and complex adaptive systems offer a theoretical framework to examine dynamic and coupled natural–human systems within a policy-relevant context. We advocate an Island Biocomplexity perspective that encompasses the coevolution and adaptive resilience of island ecosystems with a new island ecology that incorporates human impacts in coupled natural–human systems. Agent-based models (ABMs), as implementation tools, are described as an approach to examine “what-if” scenarios of change of linked social–ecological systems that involve heterogeneous agents (i.e., individuals and households), a dynamic environment, and exogenous forces and endogenous factors that combine in complex ways to alter social, terrestrial, and marine subsystems in the Galapagos Islands. Despite the fact that most of the new ABM advances are still experimental with few practical applications and few are being used in policy making, these frameworks offer a new way to understand the local interactions and regional patterns within the Galapagos Islands.
Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands