IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A system dynamics approach to land use changes in agro-pastoral systems on the desert margins of Sahel

  • Rasmussen, Laura Vang
  • Rasmussen, Kjeld
  • Reenberg, Anette
  • Proud, Simon
Registered author(s):

    Land use changes in the Sahel are influenced by multiple socio-economic and bio-physical driving forces that result in a complex and dynamic land use system. This paper outlines to what extent a system dynamics approach may serve to nuance the understanding of Sahelian agro-pastoral systems. Firstly, by using the Sahelian part of Northern Burkina Faso as a case study, we build a simple model that includes the most influential drivers of land use changes and their impacts in the land use system. As the developed model is proven to successfully simulate the main directions of change in the land use system, we employ the model to explore the impacts of important and realistic alterations in those factors driving land use change. This is done by generating ‘what if’ scenarios. The results show that ‘what if’ scenarios based on sudden events, such as a drop in millet prices or a total stop in circular migration, have a more pronounced impact on the system than other more long term alterations such as increased rainfall variability. As the developed model allows testing simple hypotheses about the dynamics of land use systems, the approach serves as a useful complementary tool to more established approaches in advancing land change science.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

    Volume (Year): 107 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 56-64

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:107:y:2012:i:c:p:56-64
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:107:y:2012:i:c:p:56-64. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.