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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Can Intensification of Cattle Ranching Reduce Deforestation in the Amazon? Insights From an Agent-based Social-Ecological Model

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Mueller-Hansen, Finn [1, 2, 3] ; Heitzig, Jobst [2, 3] ; Donges, Jonathan F. [4, 2, 3] ; Cardoso, Manoel F. [5] ; Dalla-Nora, Eloi L. [6] ; Andrade, Pedro [5] ; Kurths, Juergen [1, 2, 3] ; Thonicke, Kirsten [2, 3]
Total Authors: 8
[1] Humboldt Univ, Dept Phys, Newtonstr 15, D-12489 Berlin - Germany
[2] Potsdam Inst Climate Impact Res PIK, POB 60 12 03, D-14412 Potsdam - Germany
[3] Leibniz Assoc, POB 60 12 03, D-14412 Potsdam - Germany
[4] Stockholm Univ, Stockholm Resilience Ctr, Kraftriket 2B, S-11419 Stockholm - Sweden
[5] Natl Inst Space Res, Ctr Earth Syst Sci, Av Astronautas 1758, BR-12227010 Sao Jose Dos Campos, SP - Brazil
[6] TerraSAT Co, Dept Res & Appl Technol, Rua Pietro Cescon 1938, BR-99560000 Sarandi, RS - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 6
Document type: Journal article
Source: ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS; v. 159, p. 198-211, MAY 2019.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Deforestation in the Amazon with its vast consequences for the ecosystem and climate is largely related to subsequent land use for cattle ranching. In addition to conservation policies, proposals to reduce deforestation include measures to intensify cattle ranching. However, the effects of land-use intensification on deforestation are debated in the literature. This paper introduces the abacra model, a stylized agent-based model to study the interplay of deforestation and the intensification of cattle ranching in the Brazilian Amazon. The model combines social learning and ecological processes with market dynamics. In the model, agents adopt either an extensive or semi-intensive strategy of cattle ranching based on the success of their neighbors. They earn their income by selling cattle on a stylized market. We present a comprehensive analysis of the model with statistical methods and find that it produces highly non-linear transient outcomes in dependence on key parameters like the rate of social interaction and elasticity of the cattle price. We show that under many environmental and economic conditions, intensification does not reduce deforestation rates and sometimes even has a detrimental effect on deforestation. Anti-deforestation policies incentivizing fast intensification can only lower deforestation rates under conditions in which the local cattle market saturates. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/50151-0 - Dynamical phenomena in complex networks: fundamentals and applications
Grantee:Elbert Einstein Nehrer Macau
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants
FAPESP's process: 15/50122-0 - Dynamic phenomena in complex networks: basics and applications
Grantee:Elbert Einstein Nehrer Macau
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants