MultiTip - Tipping points in large lakes
Large lakes offer a wealth of opportunities for the local population, such as agriculture, aquaculture, manufacturing, capture fisheries, and tourism. Moreover, lakes provide eco-system services, such as drinking water, climate regulation, and wildlife reservoirs to their regions.
At the same time, human uses of lakes strongly influence their ecosystems. Nutrient inflows, biomass extraction, and land use regimes impact on the local environment and the way in which species interact with each other. These interactions between society and ecology are characterized by complexity and uncertainty. Species may respond with decline or boom to changes in their environment. Human actions in one area may have consequences for ecological processes in another. Taken together, large lakes are perceptible to so called tipping points, i.e., abrupt and often irreversible ecological changes with long lasting consequences for the whole lake system.
The understanding of human behavior is one of the key factors for the management of large lake ecosystems. Little is known about the factors that influence decision-making processes in complex environments such as large lake systems. Still, there is a strong societal interest in harmonizing decisions across different levels of decision-makers, from households to international policy boards. Improved understanding of decision-making and behavior is crucial to inform policies that consider the needs of individuals and society, while preserving environmentally sustainable lakes.
MultiTip - Tipping points in large lake systems
MultiTip consists of an interdisciplinary team of researchers that has received seed money from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung) to develop three-year research project in close collaboration with stakeholders at the local, regional, and international level. If successfully funded, the research phase takes off in June 2018.
The aim of the MultiTip project is to produce input for evidence-based policy based on new insights of decision-making processes in complex large lake systems. Specifically, the project will test which type of mental models and incentive structures that drive decisions with social and ecological implications.