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Water 2014, 6(10), 3152-3181; doi:10.3390/w6103152

Scenario-Based Impacts of Land Use and Climate Change on Land and Water Degradation from the Meso to Regional Scale

West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use—WASCAL, Ouagadougou 06 P.O. Box 9507, Burkina Faso
Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 166, Bonn 53115, Germany
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou 01 BP. 526, Benin
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 May 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 8 October 2014 / Published: 20 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources in a Variable and Changing Climate)
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Scale-dependent parameter models were developed and nested to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool-SWAT to simulate climate and land use change impacts on water-sediment-nutrient yields in Benin at a regional scale (49,256 km²). Weighted contributions of relevant landscape attributes characterizing the spatial pattern of ongoing hydrological processes were used to constrain the model parameters to acceptable physical meanings. Climate change projections (describing a rainfall reduction of up to 25%) simulated throughout the Regional Model-REMO, very sensitive to a prescribed degradation of land cover, were considered. Land use change scenarios in which the population growth was translated into a specific demand for settlements and croplands (cropland increase of up to 40%) according to the development of the national framework, were also considered. The results were consistent with simulations performed at the meso-scale (586 km2) where local management operations were incorporated. Surface runoff, groundwater flow, sediment and organic N and P yields were affected by land use change (as major effects) of −8% to +50%, while water yield and evapotranspiration were dominantly affected by climate change of −31% to +2%. This tendency was more marked at the regional scale as response to higher scale-dependent rates of natural vegetations with higher conversions to croplands. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; scaling; regionalization; nutrient loss; climate change; land use change SWAT; scaling; regionalization; nutrient loss; climate change; land use change

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bossa, A.Y.; Diekkrüger, B.; Agbossou, E.K. Scenario-Based Impacts of Land Use and Climate Change on Land and Water Degradation from the Meso to Regional Scale. Water 2014, 6, 3152-3181.

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