Workshop: Abrupt grass-woodland transitions: Determinants and consequences for ecosystem services

Project: Research project


There is an urgent need to increase intellectual exchanges among researchers studying different aspects of the grass-woodland transition depicted in our conceptual model (Figure 1). Usually, scientists who have developed statistical models capable to predict abrupt transitions do not talk to scientists studying the mechanisms that yield these transitions. If intellectual isolation within ecology is a problem, the gap is even bigger between social and physical scientists; both are trying to address the same problem although from different standpoints. A meeting like this has not occurred yet. Different groups of scientists, who tackled individual pieces of the puzzle, have met in different venues but they have not met with this particular objective and with this mix of colleagues. Statistical modelers have met and produced significant progress in our ability to predict critical transitions (Scheffer et al. 2009). Similarly, groups that understand the ecological and socio-economic drivers of grassland-woodland transitions met in ecological or environmental economics meetings. However, this group of scientists with different and complementing skills has not met to address this significant issue.
Effective start/end date7/1/129/30/13


  • NSF: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO): $49,798.00


ecological economics
ecosystem service
environmental economics