NetLogo User Community Models
by Stuart Kininmonth (Submitted: 04/18/2013)
## ## WHAT IS IT?
This model was set up to provide a working conceptual model of coral reef dynamics in the face of climate change. Climate change threatens a wide range of ecosystem processes that underpin the world's coral reefs. The implementation of conservation actions to manage fishing pressure and water quality has already shown resilience benefits, however ongoing public support is critical to ensure these and future actions can successfully counter the deleterious effects of climate change. Public understanding of resilience theory and the complexity of stochastic events effecting coral reefs is limited, in part, by the model format presented. Here we present a model used as a basis for the simple game known as ‘Snakes and Ladders’ to assist in the understanding of resilience potential and stochastic events in coral reef ecology.
## ## HOW IT WORKS
The simplicity of the game is the essence of why we selected it. We used a 10 by 10 checkered board numbered sequentially from 1 to 100. The lower numbers represent an unspecified state that is poor (low coral cover or low biodiversity or low resilience) while the higher numbers represent the healthiest state a reef can achieve. Therefore each player’s chip can represent a coral reef within a common region in order to minimize environmental heterogeneity. Each player starts at the lowest number and using the dice values of 1 to 6 precede along the board. With a slight twist on the original game the number of moves required to reach the final square is the measure of success.
## ## HOW TO USE IT
The player has the option of firstly selecting the number of snakes and then ladders. The mean size of the snakes/ladders is also altered if desirable. The player can then keep throwing a single dice and watch the movement of the coral reef step by step. Otherwise they can run many thousands of games (as specified) by a click of a button.
## ## THINGS TO NOTICE
Notice how the coral reefs can end up oscillating at a lower state if the number of snakes is just too many.
## ## THINGS TO TRY
Try playing with the size of the snakes and ladders.
## ## EXTENDING THE MODEL
Clearly this model is not trying to inform scientists about the dynamics of coral reef growth but the model could be extended by making the players more adaptable and perhaps more interactive.
## ## NETLOGO FEATURES
We placed a picture of coral reefs in the background to provide some interesting context. Ideally we would have liked better looking snakes and ladders but this proved very difficult to code up.
## ## CREDITS AND REFERENCES
This model was created from discussons held at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in 2012.
This model is provided free and without limits to non-profit applications.
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