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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/esd-2016-15
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
30 May 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Sustainable use of renewable resources in a stylized social-ecological network model under heterogeneous resource distribution
Wolfram Barfuss1,2, Jonathan F. Donges1,3, Marc Wiedermann1,2, and Wolfgang Lucht1,4 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegrafenberg A31, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2Department of Physics, Humboldt University, Newtonstraße 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany
3Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B, 114 19 Stockholm, Sweden
4Department of Geography, Humboldt University, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
Abstract. Human societies depend on the resources ecosystems provide. Particularly since the last century, human activities have transformed the relationship between nature and society at a global scale. We study this coevolutionary relationship by utilizing a stylized model of regional resource use and preference formation on an adaptive social network. The latter process is based on two social key dynamics beyond economic paradigms: boundedly rational imitation of resource use preferences and homophily in the formation of social network ties. The private and logistically growing resources are harvested either with a sustainable (small) or non-sustainable (large) effort. We show that these social processes can have a profound influence on the environmental state, such as determining whether the private renewable resources collapse from overuse or not. Additionally, we demonstrate that heterogeneously distributed regional resource capacities shift the critical social parameters (social-ecological tipping points) where this resource extraction system collapses. We make these points to argue that, in more advanced coevolutionary models of the planetary social-ecological system, such socio-cultural phenomena as well as regional resource heterogeneities should receive attention in addition to the processes represented in established Earth system and integrated assessment models.

Citation: Barfuss, W., Donges, J. F., Wiedermann, M., and Lucht, W.: Sustainable use of renewable resources in a stylized social-ecological network model under heterogeneous resource distribution, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., doi:10.5194/esd-2016-15, in review, 2016.
Wolfram Barfuss et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
 
RC1: 'Referee report', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Nov 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC2: 'Overall review', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Nov 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
 
AC1: 'final author comment', Wolfram Barfuss, 09 Dec 2016 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
Wolfram Barfuss et al.
Wolfram Barfuss et al.

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Short summary
Human societies depend on the resources ecosystems provide. We study this coevolutionary relationship by utilizing a stylized model of resource users on a social network. This model demonstrates that social-cultural processes can have a profound influence on the environmental state, such as determining whether the resources collapse from overuse or not. This suggests that social-cultural processes should receive more attention in the modeling of sustainability transitions and the Earth System.
Human societies depend on the resources ecosystems provide. We study this coevolutionary...
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