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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

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.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01266918
Contributor : Publications Umr Prodig <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 4:09:44 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 18, 2020 - 2:35:00 PM

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Nicolas Becu, Christine Raimond, Eric Garine, Marc Deconchat, Kouami Kokou. Coupling Environmental and Social Processes to Simulate the Emergence of a Savannah Landscape Mosaic Under Shifting Cultivation and Assess its Sustainability. JASSS : Journal of artificial societies and social simulation, 2014, 17 (1), 19 p. ⟨10.18564/jasss.2397⟩. ⟨halshs-01266918⟩

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