Abstract

We compare the robustness of food supplies to annual variation in rainfall within two different agricultural systems: a generalist system with one type of agent who cultivates both maize and agave, and a specialist system composed of two types of agents who cultivate either maize or agave and are able to exchange. When mean rainfall is relatively high and less variable or relatively low and more variable, food supplies in the specialist system are more robust than in the generalist system. However, at intermediate levels of mean rainfall and variability, food supplies in the specialist system are less robust than those in the generalist system. Our analysis suggests that conflicts of interest and their associated costs constrain the development of specialization in some environments. When considering the robustness of social-ecological systems, it is important to consider "for whom a coupled social and ecological system is robust?"

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-310
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

arid environment
food supply
generalist
specialization
rainfall
crop
maize
ecological system
farming system
annual variation
social system
cost
conflict of interest
Crops
Robustness
costs

Keywords

  • Crop diversity
  • Risk
  • Robustness
  • Social-ecological system
  • Specialization and exchange

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Ecology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Crop Specialization, Exchange and Robustness in a Semi-arid Environment. / Freeman, Jacob; Anderies, John; Torvinen, Andrea; Nelson, Ben.

In: Human Ecology, Vol. 42, No. 2, 2014, p. 297-310.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Freeman, Jacob ; Anderies, John ; Torvinen, Andrea ; Nelson, Ben. / Crop Specialization, Exchange and Robustness in a Semi-arid Environment. In: Human Ecology. 2014 ; Vol. 42, No. 2. pp. 297-310.
@article{07048f7de6284decb24d83683ff96378,
title = "Crop Specialization, Exchange and Robustness in a Semi-arid Environment",
abstract = "We compare the robustness of food supplies to annual variation in rainfall within two different agricultural systems: a generalist system with one type of agent who cultivates both maize and agave, and a specialist system composed of two types of agents who cultivate either maize or agave and are able to exchange. When mean rainfall is relatively high and less variable or relatively low and more variable, food supplies in the specialist system are more robust than in the generalist system. However, at intermediate levels of mean rainfall and variability, food supplies in the specialist system are less robust than those in the generalist system. Our analysis suggests that conflicts of interest and their associated costs constrain the development of specialization in some environments. When considering the robustness of social-ecological systems, it is important to consider {"}for whom a coupled social and ecological system is robust?{"}",
keywords = "Crop diversity, Risk, Robustness, Social-ecological system, Specialization and exchange",
author = "Jacob Freeman and John Anderies and Andrea Torvinen and Ben Nelson",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1007/s10745-013-9638-0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "42",
pages = "297--310",
journal = "Human Ecology",
issn = "0300-7839",
publisher = "Springer Science + Business Media",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Crop Specialization, Exchange and Robustness in a Semi-arid Environment

AU - Freeman, Jacob

AU - Anderies, John

AU - Torvinen, Andrea

AU - Nelson, Ben

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - We compare the robustness of food supplies to annual variation in rainfall within two different agricultural systems: a generalist system with one type of agent who cultivates both maize and agave, and a specialist system composed of two types of agents who cultivate either maize or agave and are able to exchange. When mean rainfall is relatively high and less variable or relatively low and more variable, food supplies in the specialist system are more robust than in the generalist system. However, at intermediate levels of mean rainfall and variability, food supplies in the specialist system are less robust than those in the generalist system. Our analysis suggests that conflicts of interest and their associated costs constrain the development of specialization in some environments. When considering the robustness of social-ecological systems, it is important to consider "for whom a coupled social and ecological system is robust?"

AB - We compare the robustness of food supplies to annual variation in rainfall within two different agricultural systems: a generalist system with one type of agent who cultivates both maize and agave, and a specialist system composed of two types of agents who cultivate either maize or agave and are able to exchange. When mean rainfall is relatively high and less variable or relatively low and more variable, food supplies in the specialist system are more robust than in the generalist system. However, at intermediate levels of mean rainfall and variability, food supplies in the specialist system are less robust than those in the generalist system. Our analysis suggests that conflicts of interest and their associated costs constrain the development of specialization in some environments. When considering the robustness of social-ecological systems, it is important to consider "for whom a coupled social and ecological system is robust?"

KW - Crop diversity

KW - Risk

KW - Robustness

KW - Social-ecological system

KW - Specialization and exchange

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84897573374&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84897573374&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10745-013-9638-0

DO - 10.1007/s10745-013-9638-0

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 297

EP - 310

JO - Human Ecology

JF - Human Ecology

SN - 0300-7839

IS - 2

ER -