A central component of the FACETS project is to develop an integrative data and modeling platform within a stakeholder Participatory Modeling Process (PMP). This platform is being used to generate plausible scenarios and envision a future in which agricultural and silvicultural production remain both economically viable and compatible with environmental regulations. These scenarios are the integrating “language” of the project, translating environmental goals into economic outcomes, converting economic outcomes into societal acceptance (or rejection), and enabling discussion of how changes in policies and individual decisions might transform social priorities sufficiently to achieve this compatible future.
Farm- and Forest-Scale Modeling
SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer) and the 3PG forest model (Physiological Processes Predicting Growth) were used to simulate yields and water and nutrient balances for agricultural crops and silviculture grown in the region. Simulated yields were used in enterprise-level economic modeling to predict profits under simulated systems and strategies. Predicted profits were then used along with predictions of irrigation water use and nutrient leaching to evaluate farm-scale economic-environmental tradeoffs across cropping systems, BMPs, and soil and climatic conditions.
While farm-scale models provide valuable information about economic-environmental tradeoffs at the farm-forest scale, watershed-scale modeling is needed to quantify impacts on receiving waters. SWAT-MODFLOW is being used to aggregate impacts of alternative climate, land use, cropping system and BMP adoption scenarios on groundwater, spring water and river water quality and quantity at the watershed scale in the Santa Fe River Basin (SFRB) in Florida and the Lower Flint River Basin (LFRB) in Georgia. Both are ecologically sensitive, predominantly agricultural/silvicultural watersheds with land uses representative of the study region, and both are subject to stringent environmental regulations that are not currently being met. Thus, these watersheds serve as valuable test-beds for addressing the challenge of meeting diverse, conflicting water needs while maintaining environmental quality.
IMPLAN software is being used to estimate the economic contributions of agriculture, forestry and supporting industries in the study region for alternative climate, land use, cropping system and BMP scenarios. Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay studies evaluate whether future scenarios are feasible and socially acceptable and provide information to develop policy incentives.
Land-use change modeling
Land-use change is a critical driver of hydrologic and economic models. To simulate future land-use scenarios that may result from possible domestic (regional/national policy-driven) and international drivers (e.g. European Union demand for bioenergy), an integrated, dynamic, price-endogenous partial equilibrium model of forestry and agricultural sectors is being used to investigate direct and indirect impacts of increasing demands for agricultural and forestry products and impacts of regulatory changes on land use. Model outputs include agricultural and forestry product prices and direct and induced land use changes.
Modeling Team Members
Damian Adams, University of Florida
Wendy Graham, University of Florida
Kevin Athearn, University of Florida
Christa Court, University of Florida
Rob de Rooij, University of Florida
Puneet Dwivedi, University of Georgia
Wendy Graham, University of Florida
Latif Kalin, Auburn University
David Kaplan, University of Florida
John Lai, University of Florida
Yangxuan Lui, University of Georgia
Martha Monroe, University of Florida
Nathan Reaver,University of Florida
Amanda Smith, University of Georgia
Andres Susaeta, University of Florida
Dogil Lee, University of Florida
Emmanuel Akande, University of Florida
Tatiana Borisova, University of Florida
Ranjit Bawa, University of Georgia
Henique Haas, Auburn University
Guy Hancock, University of Georgia
Sandra Guzman, Auburn University
Unmesh Koirala, University of Florida
Sagarika Rath, University of Florida
Patricia Spellman, University of Florida
Danielle Tadych, Auburn University
Kaleb Worku, Auburn University