Land use, water and Mediterranean landscapes: Modelling long-term dynamics of complex socio-ecological systems

C Michael Barton, Isaac I. Ullah, Sean Bergin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


The evolution of Mediterranean landscapes during the Holocene has been increasingly governed by the complex interactions of water and human land use. Different land-use practices change the amount of water flowing across the surface and infiltrating the soil, and change water's ability to move surface sediments. Conversely, water amplifies the impacts of human land use and extends the ecological footprint of human activities far beyond the borders of towns and fields. Advances in computational modelling offer new tools to study the complex feedbacks between land use, land cover, topography and surface water. The Mediterranean Landscape Dynamics project (MedLand) is building a modelling laboratory where experiments can be carried out on the long-term impacts of agropastoral land use, and whose results can be tested against the archaeological record. These computational experiments are providing new insights into the socio-ecological consequences of human decisions at varying temporal and spatial scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5275-5297
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1931
StatePublished - Nov 28 2010



  • Agriculture
  • Archaeology
  • Land use
  • Landscape
  • Neolithic
  • Southwest Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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