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Open AccessArticle

Quantifying the Effect of Land Use Change Model Coupling

1
Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
2
National Institute for Space Research (INPE), São José dos Campos 12227-010, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Change Modelling)
Land-use change (LUC) is a complex process that is difficult to project. Model collaboration, an aggregate term for model harmonization, comparison and/or coupling, intends to combine the strengths of different models to improve LUC projections. Several model collaborations have been performed, but to the authors’ knowledge, the effect of coupling has not been evaluated quantitatively. Therefore, for a case study of Brazil, we harmonized and coupled the partial equilibrium model GLOBIOM-Brazil and the demand-driven spatially explicit model PLUC, and then compared the coupled-model projections with those by GLOBIOM-Brazil individually. The largest differences between projections occurred in Mato Grosso and Pará, frontiers of agricultural expansion. In addition, we validated both projections for Mato Grosso using land-use maps from remote sensing images. The coupled model clearly outperformed GLOBIOM-Brazil. Reductions in the root mean squared error (RMSE) for LUC dynamics ranged from 31% to 80% and for total land use, from 10% to 57%. Only for pasture, the coupled model performed worse in total land use (RMSE 9% higher). Reasons for a better performance of the coupled model were considered to be, inter alia, the initial map, more spatially explicit information about drivers, and the path-dependence effect in the allocation through the cellular-automata approach of PLUC. View Full-Text
Keywords: land-use change; model coupling; partial equilibrium model; demand-driven model; Brazil; validation land-use change; model coupling; partial equilibrium model; demand-driven model; Brazil; validation
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Stepanov, O.; Câmara, G.; Verstegen, J.A. Quantifying the Effect of Land Use Change Model Coupling. Land 2020, 9, 52.

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