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Coupling environmental and social processes to simulate the emergence of a savannah landscape mosaic under shifting cultivation and assess its sustainability

Becu, Nicolas and Raimond, Christine and Garine, Eric and Deconchat, Marc and Kokou, Kouami Coupling environmental and social processes to simulate the emergence of a savannah landscape mosaic under shifting cultivation and assess its sustainability. (2014) Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 17 (1). 1-19. ISSN 1460-7425

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18564/jasss.2397

Abstract

This paper presents an agent-based spatial simulation of shifting cultivation applied to savannah landscape in North-Cameroon (Duupa ethnic community). The model is based on empirical rules and was developed by a team who seek to create interdisciplinary dynamics by combining domain specific approaches to the same subject. The manner in which the model is described in this paper reflects the interdisciplinary processes that guided its development. It is made up of four domain-specific modules - demography, agriculture, savannah regrowth and social rules - which converge to form a fifth one, i.e., the evolution of the mosaic of cultivated fields. The focus is on how the spatial organization of landscapes results of environmental and social interactions. Two scenarios are presented in this paper. The first simulates the transformation of savannah woodland into a shifting cultivation savannah landscape. The second simulates changes in the landscape and socio-demographic structure of a Duupa village over a 60-year period. The simulation results are used to identify some of the key aspects of the socio-environmental interactions and help to explain why at large spatial scales and over a long period of time, the composition and structure of a landscape appear rather stable. For instance, it is well known that demography plays a key role in both social and environmental dynamics of shifting cultivation systems. Yet, in the case of the Duupa system, we show that social resilience can be acquired through interactions between demographic cycles of rising and falling population levels and a socioeconomic redistribution system. Finally, we compare the model developed with other shifting cultivation models and provide some insights on future developments.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to SimSoc Consortium editor. The definitive version is available at http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/JASSS.html The original PDF of the article can be found at http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/17/1/1.html
ProdINRA Id:253360
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Lomé (TOGO)
Other partners > Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (FRANCE)
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Deposited By: INRA INRA
Deposited On:10 Feb 2017 14:07

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