Complexity in space and time: spatio-temporal variability and scale in simulations of social-ecological systems

Author(s): Isaac Ullah; C. Michael Barton

Year: 2015


Over the last decade, the Mediterranean Landscape Dynamics Project has integrated complex systems concepts with computer simulation and empirical data in research on early farming systems. We have developed a computational laboratory, composed of multiple interacting models that are dynamically and recursively linked. to study how small-holder Social-Ecological Systems (SES) grow and change over time, how they react to major system state change, and how specific system variables affect the trajectories of these SES over space and time. Here, we apply this approach to questions of temporal and spatial scale related to the drivers and consequences of long-term change in SES. In particular, we examine how spatio-temporal "misalignment" between sub-systems can generate social-environmental variability and feedbacks in early SES. We present a theoretical framework for the development and consequences of these mismatches over the long term, with particular attention paid to the development of early farming SES. Related to this, we also consider how the scale of observation affects our interpretation of apparent change in these SES. We use examples from experiments conducted in our modeling laboratory to illustrate these concepts.

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Cite this Record

Complexity in space and time: spatio-temporal variability and scale in simulations of social-ecological systems. Isaac Ullah, C. Michael Barton. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395153)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;