Advanced

A novel modelling approach for evaluating the preindustrial natural carrying capacity of human population in Iceland

Haraldsson, Hördur LU and Olafsdottir, Rannveig LU (2006) In Science of the Total Environment 372(1). p.109-119
Abstract
The pre-industrial natural carrying capacity is believed to have limited the human population in Iceland to a maximum of fifty to sixty thousand inhabitants. Since AD 1800 the Icelandic population has gradually grown up to nearly 300 thousand in 2005. In this paper a simple approach is used to evaluate the potential population size that the pre-industrial Icelandic environment could possibly sustain. A dynamic model was constructed that simulates the population size according to potential biological production available for livestock. Biological production was determined by the extent of the total potential vegetation cover based on the Degree-Day concept. Fluctuations in the mean annual temperature causes changes in the potential... (More)
The pre-industrial natural carrying capacity is believed to have limited the human population in Iceland to a maximum of fifty to sixty thousand inhabitants. Since AD 1800 the Icelandic population has gradually grown up to nearly 300 thousand in 2005. In this paper a simple approach is used to evaluate the potential population size that the pre-industrial Icelandic environment could possibly sustain. A dynamic model was constructed that simulates the population size according to potential biological production available for livestock. Biological production was determined by the extent of the total potential vegetation cover based on the Degree-Day concept. Fluctuations in the mean annual temperature causes changes in the potential vegetation cover and as a consequence change the biological production sustaining livestock and ultimately human population. The simulation's results indicate that the potential population that the Icelandic environments could sustain during the pre-industrial period fluctuated between 40 and 80 thousand. The results further indicate that the severe land degradation experienced after the Viking settlement period in AD 900 had a marginal impact on the population size. The pre-historical population did however overshoot the natural sustainability on several occasions. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Iceland, climate change, pre-industrial, carrying capacity, population, sustainable, vegetation cover, system dynamic, biological production
in
Science of the Total Environment
volume
372
issue
1
pages
109 - 119
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000242887700013
  • scopus:33751090327
ISSN
1879-1026
DOI
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.08.013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
eb701c50-7ecc-4899-9075-640ca87305ed (old id 682077)
date added to LUP
2008-01-03 15:49:23
date last changed
2018-01-07 05:17:49
@article{eb701c50-7ecc-4899-9075-640ca87305ed,
  abstract     = {The pre-industrial natural carrying capacity is believed to have limited the human population in Iceland to a maximum of fifty to sixty thousand inhabitants. Since AD 1800 the Icelandic population has gradually grown up to nearly 300 thousand in 2005. In this paper a simple approach is used to evaluate the potential population size that the pre-industrial Icelandic environment could possibly sustain. A dynamic model was constructed that simulates the population size according to potential biological production available for livestock. Biological production was determined by the extent of the total potential vegetation cover based on the Degree-Day concept. Fluctuations in the mean annual temperature causes changes in the potential vegetation cover and as a consequence change the biological production sustaining livestock and ultimately human population. The simulation's results indicate that the potential population that the Icelandic environments could sustain during the pre-industrial period fluctuated between 40 and 80 thousand. The results further indicate that the severe land degradation experienced after the Viking settlement period in AD 900 had a marginal impact on the population size. The pre-historical population did however overshoot the natural sustainability on several occasions. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Haraldsson, Hördur and Olafsdottir, Rannveig},
  issn         = {1879-1026},
  keyword      = {Iceland,climate change,pre-industrial,carrying capacity,population,sustainable,vegetation cover,system dynamic,biological production},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {109--119},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Science of the Total Environment},
  title        = {A novel modelling approach for evaluating the preindustrial natural carrying capacity of human population in Iceland},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.08.013},
  volume       = {372},
  year         = {2006},
}