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Model coupling in land system science

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EBDW01 - Current status and key questions in Landscape Decision making

The land system is a complex system. It depends on a miriad of interactions between individual, heterogenous land users, on the variability of the physical environment (soils, climate, …) and on the diversity of societal structures including communities, institutions and public policy organisations. Many modelling approaches have been proposed to represent land systems, with the dominant paradigm based on economic optimisation. However, assuming that individual land managers make decisions about land use based on economic rational alone is a serious simplication of the complex land system. In practice, we know that individuals make land use decisions based on many, often conflicting factors such as risk aversion, social standing, tradition and environmental impact within the context of having imperfect access to knowledge. And that many of these processes play out at different spatial scale levels. In this presentation I will explore how different approaches to modelling land systems can be coupled across scales in order to capture the salient processes at each scale level. This includes modelling of land-based commodity trade-flows at the global scale, sub-national agent-based modelling of land use decision making, and the representation of public policy organisations that influence land users locally.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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