Local agricultural land use and environmental change outcomes are tied to variation in farmer decision-making and inequality in access to land and labor. This thesis introduces an agent-based model to investigate how the degree of labor intensification interacts with farm-level land and labor characteristics to influence the likelihood, timing, and nature of changes in fallow management, forest cover and soil fertility change, and agricultural productivity. The model demonstrates that labor extensive farmers would have quickly experienced declining soil quality and agricultural production. Labor intensive farmers maintained soil quality and agricultural production by engaging in a forest-fallow cycle that allowed for the regeneration of soil fertility.
Lonneman, Michael C. (2018): Eroded Landscapes: Agricultural and Environmental Change in the United States Piedmont, 1790-1860. MA Thesis, University of Georgia, Department of Anthropology.