An agent-based simulation model of a nutrient trading market for natural resources management

Xiang Zhu, Daoliang Li, Luis F. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Markets for nutrient trading, water quality and other ecosystem services are rapidly emerging across the world. A critical need is to improve the relationship between farmers' decisions and their impact on natural resources. One of the basic requirements that links buyers and sellers of ecosystem services is an agreed upon unit of trade and a way to measure it. We develop an agent-based model (ABM) which is designed to formalize the interactions between the biophysics dynamics of the natural resources and the socio-economic factors. The simulation market builds on ABM paradigms in its concepts and is coded using the Matlab programming environment. The result shows that ABM is contributing to research questions in ecological economics areas of land-use change, public auction modeling, market dynamics, changes in owners' perceived yield potential, owners' gold, farming choice and water treatment choice aspects in human decision making and behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-994
Number of pages8
JournalMathematical and Computer Modelling
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Agent-based model
  • Matlab programming
  • Nature resources management
  • Nutrient trading market

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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