Changing crops in response to climate: Virtual Nang Rong, Thailand in an agent based simulation

George P. Malanson, Ashton M. Verdery, Stephen J. Walsh, Yothin Sawangdee, Benjamin W. Heumann, Philip M. McDaniel, Brian G. Frizzelle, Nathalie E. Williams, Xiaozheng Yao, Barbara Entwisle, Ronald R. Rindfuss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The effects of extended climatic variability on agricultural land use were explored for the type of system found in villages of northeastern Thailand. An agent based model developed for the Nang Rong district was used to simulate land allotted to jasmine rice, heavy rice, cassava, and sugar cane. The land use choices in the model depended on likely economic outcomes, but included elements of bounded rationality in dependence on household demography. The socioeconomic dynamics are endogenous in the system, and climate changes were added as exogenous drivers. Villages changed their agricultural effort in many different ways. Most villages reduced the amount of land under cultivation, primarily with reduction in jasmine rice, but others did not. The variation in responses to climate change indicates potential sensitivity to initial conditions and path dependence for this type of system. The differences between our virtual villages and the real villages of the region indicate effects of bounded rationality and limits on model applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Geography
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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