Impacts of Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors on Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Panda Habitats

Li An, Michigan State University
Guangming He, Michigan State University
Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York and Queens College

In the Wolong Nature Reserve (China) for giant panda conservation, local households live a rural lifestyle that has caused forest degradation by cutting fuelwood. Based on field data and an Integrative Model with Agent-Based Artificial Intelligence and GIS (IMABAIG), we simulated the spatio-temporal dynamics of households and their impacts on panda habitat by keeping track of each family member’s life history (including their individual needs, attitudes, and activities) and the dynamics of each household agents when they interact with each other and with the environment through their activities over 20 years. Our preliminary simulations show that among all the demographic and socioeconomic factors under consideration, birth control, emigration, and providing cheaper electricity, and changing the age and gender ratio could increase habitat quantity greatly. In addition to benefiting local policy-making, this study provides a new approach to studying human-environment interactions from the perspectives of individual needs and decisions.

Presented in Session 36: Human Impacts on the Environment