CSH article as 'Research Highlight' in Nature Human Behavior - CSH

CSH article as ‘Research Highlight’ in Nature Human Behavior


Jul 18, 2017

Rice fields as self organizing systems

The recently published paper Adaptive self-organization of Bali’s ancient rice terraces in PNAS from CSH’s J. Stephen Lansing, Stefan Thurner, et al. was chosen as one of the Research Highlights in Nature Human Behaviour.

“This work suggests that culturally informed, local-scale decision-making in human–environment interactions can lead to optimized maintenance of the commons on a regional scale”, states John Carson in his article “A chain of cooperation”, that appeared in the July  2017 issue of the journal.

Adaptive self-organization of Bali’s ancient rice terraces
(A) Location of study sites: six randomly selected rice-growing regions of Bali. Photosynthetic activity was analyzed using multispectral and panchromatic satellite images to classify four stages of rice growth in the terraces, which appear as differently colored patches. (B) Image analysis of rice growth (indicating synchronized irrigation schedules in the region of Gianyar). The four colors of the patches indicate the four stages: growing rice (yellow), harvest (green), flooded (red), drained (blue). (C) Cumulative distribution of the patch sizes P(>s) for Gianyar (red circles) and for our model results (blue squares). (Inset) All 13 observations at the six regions, indicating power-law behavior, with an exponent around α≈1. (D) Correlation functions C(d) of the image (planting regions only) as a function of distance for Gianyar (red) and the model (blue). The slow decay (power law) indicates long-range correlations, or “system-wide connectivity” of patches. (Inset) All 13 observations. See SI Appendix for details.

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