Robustness and Resilience across Scales: Migration and Resource Degradation in the Prehistoric U.S. Southwest

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Model Description

This is a simple model that integrates 1) resource-population dynamics, 2) population migration, and 3) spatial heterogeneity in biophysical conditions (i.e., soi fertility). The reference article, Anderies and Hegmon (2011), gives the following abstract of the model. "Migration is arguably one of the most important processes that link ecological and social systems across scales. Humans (and other organisms) tend to move in pursuit of better resources (both social  and  environmental).  Such  mobility  may  serve  as  a  coping  mechanism  for  short-term  local-scale dilemmas and as a means of distributing organisms in relation to resources. Movement also may be viewed as a shift to a larger scale; that is, while it may solve short-term local problems, it may simultaneously have longer term and larger scale consequences. We conduct a quantitative analysis using dynamic modeling motivated by an archaeological case study to explore the dynamics that arise when population movement serves as a link between spatial scales. We use the model to characterize how ecological and social factors can lead to spatial variation in resource exploitation, and to investigate the circumstances under which migration may enhance or reduce the capacity of the system to absorb shocks at different scale".


Anderies, J. M., & Hegmon, M. (2011). Robustness and Resilience across Scales : Migration and Resource Degradation in the Prehistoric U . S . Southwest. Ecology And Society, 16(2).