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Neuwirth, Christian; Hofer, Barbara; Schaumberger, Andreas (2016): Object view in spatial system dynamics: a grassland farming example. In: Journal of Spatial Science, Vol. 61, No. 2: pp. 367-388
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Spatial system dynamics (SSD) models are typically implemented by linking stock variables to raster grids while the use of object representations of human artefacts such as buildings or ownership has been limited. This limitation is addressed by this article, which demonstrates the use of object representations in SSD. The objects are parcels of land that are attributed to grassland farms. The model simulates structural change in agriculture, i.e., change in the size of farms. The aim of the model is to reveal relations between structural change, farmland fragmentation and variable farmland quality. Results show that fragmented farms tend to become consolidated by structural change, whereas consolidated initial conditions result in a significant increase of fragmentation. Consolidation is reinforced by a dynamic land market and high transportation costs. The example demonstrates the capabilities of the object-based approach for integrating object geometries (parcel shapes) and relations between objects (distances between parcels) dynamically in SSD.