State-and-transition models (STMs) are conceptual models of ecosystem dynamics after disturbances based on alternate state theory (Kachergis et al. 2011). STMs combine the representation of alternate states and the factors that drive the transitions among states with tables of qualitative descriptions of the states. They are diagrammatic, low cost, flexible and suit participatory modelling (Nicholson & Flores 2011) which brings together diverse knowledge holders and builds shared understanding about complex systems. When implemented as Bayesian Belief Networks, they can be a powerful tool to communicate uncertainty about state categorisation and the factors that trigger transitions between states.