Seeing about Soil: Management Lessons from a Simple Model for Renewable Resources

Klaus Lichtenegger, Wilhelm Schappacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Employing an effective cellular automata model, we investigate and analyze the build-up and erosion of soil. Depending on the strategy employed for handling agricultural production, in many cases we find a critical dependence on the prescribed production target, with a sharp transition between stable production and complete breakdown of the system.

Strategies which are particularly well-suited for mimicking real-world management approaches can produce almost cyclic behavior, which can also either lead to sustainable production or to breakdown.

While designed to describe the dynamics of soil evolution, this model is quite general and may also be useful as a model for other renewable resources and may even be employed in other disciplines like psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics C
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2014

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)


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