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An Agent-Based Model of Mediterranean Agricultural Land-Use/Cover Change for Examining Wildfire Risk



Humans have a long history of activity in Mediterranean Basin landscapes. Spatial heterogeneity in these landscapes hinders our understanding about the impacts of changes in human activity on ecological processes, such as wildfire. The use of spatially-explicit models that simulate processes at fine scales should aid the investigation of spatial patterns at the broader, landscape scale. Here, we present an agent-based model of agricultural land-use decision-making to examine the importance of land tenure and land use on future land cover. The model considers two 'types' of land-use decision-making agent with differing perspectives; 'commercial' agents that are perfectly economically rational, and 'traditional' agents that represent part-time or 'traditional' farmers that manage their land because of its cultural, rather than economic, value. The structure of the model is described and results are presented for various scenarios of initial landscape configuration. Land-use/cover maps produced by the model are used to examine how wildfire risk changes for each scenario. Results indicate that land tenure configuration influences trajectories of land use change. However, simulations for various initial land-use configurations and compositions converge to similar states when land-tenure structure is held constant. For the scenarios considered, mean wildfire risk increases relative to the observed landscape. Increases in wildfire risk are not spatially uniform however, varying according to the composition and configuration of land use types. These unexpected spatial variations in wildfire risk highlight the advantages of using a spatially-explicit agent-based model of land use/cover change.

Suggested Citation

  • James Millington & Raúl Romero-Calcerrada & John Wainwright & George Perry, 2008. "An Agent-Based Model of Mediterranean Agricultural Land-Use/Cover Change for Examining Wildfire Risk," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(4), pages 1-4.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2007-90-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Peter Deadman & Derek Robinson & Emilio Moran & Eduardo Brondizio, 2004. "Colonist household decisionmaking and land-use change in the Amazon Rainforest: an agent-based simulation," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(5), pages 693-709, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fraser J. Morgan & Philip Brown & Adam J. Daigneault, 2015. "Simulation vs. Definition: Differing Approaches to Setting Probabilities for Agent Behaviour," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-24, September.
    2. repec:eee:ecomod:v:229:y:2012:i:c:p:25-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jlands:v:6:y:2017:i:3:p:56-:d:109404 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dimitris Kremmydas, 2012. "Agent based modeling for agricultural policy evaluation: A review," Working Papers 2012-3, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.


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