Land-use changes across distant places: design of a telecoupled agent-based model
JOURNAL OF LAND USE SCIENCE, 2019.
Yue Dou, James D.A. Millington,Ramon Felipe Bicudo Da Silva, Paul McCord, Andrés Viña, Qian Song, Qiangyi Yu, Wenbin Wu, Mateus Batistella, Emilio Moran and Jianguo Liu
Land-use changes across distant places are increasingly affected by international agricultural trade, but most of the impacts and feedback remain unknown. The telecoupling framework – an analytical tool for examining socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances – can be used to conceptualize the impacts of agricultural trade on land-use change and feedbacks across borders of importing and exporting countries and across spatio-temporal scales of land systems. We apply the framework to design an agent-based model (TeleABM) that represents land-use changes in telecoupled systems to investigate how local land-use changes are affected by flows. The Brazil–China telecoupled soybean system is used as a demonstration. With examples of research questions, we explore the possible applications of this model for assessing farm-level income, fertilizer usage, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, as a tool to quantify socio-ecological impacts between distant places and holistically inform sustainable land-practices across system boundaries.