Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 543458
Title Cooperation can improve the resilience of common-pool resource systems against over-harvesting
Author(s) Broeke, G.A. ten; Voorn, G.A.K. van; Ligtenberg, A.; Molenaar, J.
Source Ecological Complexity (2018). - ISSN 1476-945X - 22 p.
Department(s) Biometris (WU MAT)
Biometris (PPO/PRI)
Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Agent-based model - Common-pool resource - Cooperation

Currently common-pool resource systems world-wide are under pressure due to overexploitation and environmental change. To ensure that these systems continue to provide vital ecosystem services it is necessary to sustain or increase their resilience against such pressure. One way of doing this may be to improve cooperation among agents who are heavily involved in common-pool resource systems, such as farmers, fishers, managers, and companies. Historical examples suggest that the persistence or collapse of common-pool resource systems may hinge on agents collaborating or not, but cooperation as a mechanism to improve resilience is not commonly included in existing models for studying resilience. Cooperation may be sustained through indirect reciprocity, i.e., cooperative behaviour by one agent that may be repaid by other agents. In this paper we develop a suite of agent-based models that represent an abstract version of a generic spatial common-pool resource system. This suite of models contains various mechanisms for cooperation based on trust. We investigate how the resilience of the models is affected by these mechanisms. The resilience of the models is assessed by applying various shocks which make it more difficult to gather resource, and measuring whether and how fast the agent population can recover from these shocks. The results suggest that although indirect reciprocity positively affects the level of cooperation in the system, cooperation could be common even without indirect reciprocity. It is shown that the presence of cooperation increases the resilience of the models against shocks.

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