Title

Regime Shifts in a Socio-Ecological Model of Farmland Abandonment

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2011

Publication Title

Landscape Ecology

Keywords

Collective behavior, Deforestation, Forest regeneration, Human decision, Hysteresis, Linked social-ecological system, Migration, Threshold, Rural exodus, Utility

ISSN

0921-2973

Volume

26

Issue/No.

5

First Page

737

Last Page

749

Abstract

We developed a mathematical model with two-way linked socio-ecological dynamics to study farmland abandonment and to understand the regimes shifts of this socio-ecological system. The model considers that migration is a collective behavior socio-economically driven and that the ecosystem is dynamic. The model identifies equilibria that vary from mass migration, farmland abandonment, and forest regeneration, to no migration and forest eradication; partial migration and/or coexistence of farmland and forest also constitute possible equilibria. Overall, the model reflects farmland abandonment processes observed in the field and illustrates the importance of the complex interlinked mechanisms between the social and ecological systems determining farmland abandonment, that are not evident when approached independently. The model dynamics show that the hysteresis on the social dynamics renders regimes shifts difficult to reverse, and that this difficulty is accentuated when considering the ecological system dynamic. Similar models could be applied to other socio-ecological systems to help their management.

Comments

©Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Additional Comments

Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia support #: PTDC/AMB/73901/2006

ORCID ID

0000-0001-6597-0268

DOI

10.1007/s10980-011-9605-3

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