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Is cropland-dominance in landscapes an alternate social-ecological regime?: An empirical exploration of patterns in global cropland cover data
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Land use/cover change (LUCC) is a major force affecting ecosystems and the services theyprovide at local, regional and global levels. Traditionally, LUCC has been approached as aseries of linear and unidirectional single cause–effect processes, but it is now increasinglyincorporating notions from complex systems to enrich this view. This study explores thepotential benefits of using the concept of regime shifts to understand LUCC. A globalcropland cover dataset was analyzed to empirically identify patterns that suggest theexistence of alternate regimes. Results indicate that in some countries cropland-dominatedand (semi)wild landscapes likely represent alternate social-ecological regimes.Furthermore, results suggest that a theoretical feedback relating market access andagglomeration of economic activates plays a strong role in maintaining these alternate regimes in some contexts. These results highlight the need for LUCC studies to go beyondthe focus on external drivers and environmental template conditions, to incorporate feedback mechanisms and the potential for regime shifts to better understand the nature of LUCC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 53 p.
Keyword [en]
alternate regimes; land use/cover change, social–ecological systems; reinforcing feedbacks; multimodality; croplands
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79674OAI: diva2:551291
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-09-10 Created: 2012-09-10 Last updated: 2014-03-28Bibliographically approved

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