Special Issue "Land Change Modeling: Connecting to the Bigger Picture"

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A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2014

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Eugenio Arima
Department of Geography and the Environment The University of Texas at Austin 305 E 23rd St STOP A3100 Austin, TX 78712, USA
Website: http://www.utexas.edu/cola//depts/geography/faculty/ea9267
E-Mail: arima@austin.utexas.edu
Phone: +1 512 471 0714
Interests: land change science; land systems science; modeling; coupled systems; ecosystems services; human-environment interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Land change models are now part of the toolkit of environmental scientists and are increasingly being used to inform policy makers about the effects of socio-economic and institutional forces that drive the dynamics of landscape change. Changes on the terrestrial surface are implicated in a myriad of environmental problems ranging from local to global because of the complexity of life-supporting systems and their interconnection. As such, land change models have grown in importance and are much more than predicting or explaining the state of a pixel.

This Special Issue welcomes articles that inform how land change models are being integrated with and how they are informing discussions about global climate change, human health, water resources and cycle, environmental services, landscape ecology, and social feedback through policy and institutional change. Innovative approaches and new conceptual models that may help bridge and strengthen the connection between land and other natural systems are also of particular interest.

Dr. Eugenio Arima
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • land change
  • modeling
  • coupled systems
  • environmental services
  • global climate change
  • human health
  • water resources and cycle
  • landscape ecology
  • social feedback

Published Papers (1 paper)

Land 2014, 3(1), 322-341; doi:10.3390/land3010322
Received: 26 November 2013; in revised form: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1965 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title:
Land-Use Regulations and Land-Use Change:  An Evaluation of Oregon’s Policies for Preserving Agricultural Land and Riparian Areas
Author: Judith A. Dempsey 1, Andrew J. Plantinga 2,*, Jeffrey D. Kline 3, Joshua J. Lawler 4, Sebastian Martinuzzi 5 and Volker C. Radeloff 6
Affiliation:
1 Federal Communications Commission, USA
2 Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
3 Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, USA
4 School of Forest Resources, University of Washington, USA
5 Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin; USA
6 Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin; USA; *Email: plantinga@bren.ucsb.edu
Abstract: Land-use regulations can have a strong influence on land-use decisions by private landowners and, therefore, understanding the effects of land-use regulations is essential to the development of models of land-use change. We study Oregon’s land-use planning system, which is distinctive for its comprehensive and stringency. Two of its central objectives are the protection of farm and forest lands and the conservation of natural resources. These goals are pursued with zoning, the designation of urban growth boundaries (UGBs), and other regulations. We evaluate the effectiveness of Oregon’s land-use laws in preserving agricultural land and preventing development and disturbance of land in riparian areas. In doing so, we confront a fundamental obstacle to the accurate measurement of the effects of land-use regulations. Zoning and other rules are not randomly assigned to land parcels, which means that a simple comparison of lands subject to certain rules and lands not subject to these rules does not necessarily indicate the effects of the regulation. To mitigate the problem of non-random assignment of regulations, we evaluate Oregon’s land-use planning system using a difference-in-difference estimator. Spatially-explicit data from the Land Cover Trends project is used to measure land cover before and after implementation of Oregon’s land-use planning system. The change in land cover for unregulated lands is assumed to represent the change that would have occurred (i.e., the counterfactual change) on regulated lands. We find that, outside of UGBs, the rate of development for agricultural lands has been low and similar to the rate for non-agricultural lands. However, inside of UGBs, agricultural lands have been developed at much higher rates (a 27 percentage point difference) than other lands. In contrast, development and disturbance rates for riparian areas have been lower with Oregon’s land-use planning program in effect. Inside and outside of UGBs, the likelihood of development and disturbance in riparian areas was found to be approximately two percentage points lower. The implications of these findings for the development of land-use change models and the design of effective conservation policies is explored.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Policy-Driven Land Use Scenarios for Optimizing Ecosystem Services Supply in Cities
Author: Dagmar Haase *, Larondelle Neele, and Nadja Kabisch
Affiliation: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Germany; *Email: dagmar.haase@ufz.de
Abstract: The paper introduces a complex scenario development process focused on urban land use change and aiming at an optimal ecosystem services supply. We present a rule-based multi-layer GIS-model which combines the spatial representation of planning visions for cities, policy documents and target values on the one hand, and knowledge about ecosystem processes and benefits on the other. Based on maps of current land use, for the cities of Berlin, Stockholm and Rotterdam, different green and blue scenarios are constructed starting with narratives that are translated into land use patterns/change patterns and ecosystem services provisioning units. So doing, new urban green and blue land classes such as green roofs, green walls, agua ponts and different forms of horticulture, are introduced. Elements of planning such as land use zoning, distances and neighbourhoods determine the rate of change in different parts of the city regions. As demand indicators, total population size, household types and household number as well as age class distribution deliver data for current and future needs of ecosystem services such as green space, air and noise filtration by trees or storm water regulation. Comparing different scenario maps at the very end, trade-offs and synergies between land use (change) and ecosystem services on the one hand and between various ecosystem services on the other are evaluated using a spatial statistical model. The overall outcome of the study is a bunch of scenario maps and respective data showing how ecosystem performance can be increased in European cities by altering land use.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: 1. Spatial & temporal modelling of nutrient flows in Australian dairy catchments, Part I: Review and model conceptualization; 2. Spatial & temporal modelling of nutrient flows in Australian dairy catchments, Part II: modelled scenario results.
Author: Mark Rivers
Affiliation: University of Western Australia; Email: mark@3riversbrewing.com.au
Abstract: 1. Considerable resources have recently been invested in projects that have investigated the actual and potential economic, social and, particularly, environmental impacts of land management activities in a catchment context. These activities have resulted in the development of a much-improved understanding of the likely impacts of changed management practices within the farms and regions in which they were investigated, as well as the development of a number of conceptual models which place individual land uses within this catchment context. The research reported here has transformed conceptual models of dairy farm nutrient management and transport processes into a more temporally and spatially dynamic model. This has been loaded with catchment-specific data and used as a policy support tool to allow examination of the potential farm and catchment-scale impacts of varying dairy farm management practices, and of changing the landuse mosaic within some key Australian farming regions.
This paper describes the development, construction and validation of these farm-catchment dynamic models and a second, associated paper discusses the results of the modelling.
2. This paper is the second in a series of two which describe a dynamic model of nutrient transport within dairy farms and through the catchments in which they exist. The first paper describes the model development and this second paper describes the results of a series of modelled scenarios. Scenarios ranging from simple, on-farm riparian management and changes in fertiliser use, to gross changes in land use were examined and described in terms including: changes to nutrient loss at the farm scale; the relative contributions to catchment nutrient loads from dairying and, ultimately; changes to downstream water quality. The results indicate that whilst implementation of environmental best practices can go some way towards reaching water quality targets, the effectiveness of most of these practices is limited. Changes to actual nutrient input rates have the most impact at both the farm and catchment scales, but these improvements come at a considerable cost to dairy productivity. Furthermore, because dairying occupies only a small percentage of the catchments investigated, changes to other land uses within the catchment, or changes to the regional landuse mosaic affect downstream water quality response much more than can be achieved by changes to dairy farm management practices alone. The model and research are quite extensive so I would prefer this two part approach if possible. What are your thoughts?

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Regional Development Scenario Evaluation through Land use modelling and Opportunity Mapping
Author: Harutyun Shahumyan *, Brendan Williams, Walter Foley
Affiliation: University College Dublin; *Email: harutyun.shahumyan@ucd.ie
Abstract: In the context of sustainable urban development the application of different indicators integrated with scenario simulation and analysis can contribute to evidence-based decision making. The results produce valuable information for policy makers helping them to evaluate the consequences of their decisions in both a spatial and temporal context. This paper discusses the development and application of two research approaches – land use modelling and opportunity mapping – to evaluate regional development scenarios for Greater Dublin Region in the period to 2026. Through interaction with policy interests it was determined that just as multiple deprivation analyses and indicators are useful in city management, the analysis of combined spatial opportunity evidence can assist in resource allocation and targeting decisions. The paper discusses the evolution of opportunity mapping approaches and their use and application in a regional policy context.

Type of Paper: Article
Title:
On the interrelation between land use change, eco hydrology and fire regime in the Mediterranean basin.
Author: Nadia Ursino
Affiliation: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e Ambientale (ICEA), Università degli Studi di Padova, via 8 febbraio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy; Email: nadia.ursino@dicea.unipd.it
Abstract: In the last decades the average number of forest fire throughout the Mediterranean basin is increased significantly making the territory more vulnerable to extreme hydrological events. At the same time, as a results of improved economic conditions, a widespread abandonment of agricultural regions determined an expansion of the wooded area. As cropland is progressively abandoned other species invade and the control over the territory diminishes.
The increase in fuel for fire and the loss of inhabitants with sense of responsibility are linked here to the modified fire regime following an eco-hydrologically driven predator-prey modeling approach where fire is conceptualized as the predator and the forest species as prey.
This research extends upon previous study that demonstrated how climate, vegetation composition and soil properties may drive the fire frequency and intensity toward different characterization and provide a quantitative estimate of the interrelation between climate, fire, land cover composition and land use change.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Combining land cover modeling and adaptive management to conserve endangered species and reduce catastrophic fire risk
Authors: David R. Breininger*, James D. Nichols, Brean W. Duncan, Mitchell E. Eaton, Fred A. Johnson
Affiliation: *NASA Ecological Programs, IHA-300, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 USA; Email: david.r.breininger@nasa.gov
Abstract: Land cover modeling is routinely used to inform land management decisions, but most often as a two-step process where science informs how management alternatives can influence resources and then decision makers can use the information to make decisions. A more efficient process is to directly integrate science and decision making, especially when the decisions are uncertain and dependent on system states. We directly integrate habitat and fuels monitoring with decision making that is focused on managing endangered species and minimizing catastrophic fire risk in Florida scrub. Habitat and fuels objectives can be met by the same management actions under some states of habitat and fuels, but habitat trajectories are characterized by uncertainty. Under our recommended approach to management, this uncertainty can be expressed as competing models of habitat response to management. This uncertainty can be reduced by applying different management actions to patches in the same system state. Competing models will be based on our own experiences as well as on ideas about fire behavior described on several continents subject to catastrophic fire in areas that are also undergoing endangering species management. The integration of monitoring and management insures that monitoring provides information that is maximally useful for decision-making, estimates of system state for state-dependent decisions and for comparing against model-based predictions in order to increase knowledge and reduce uncertainty. We believe this approach has broad utility for other land cover modeling programs that need to inform decision making, and we provide other possible examples.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Land-Use Regulations and Land-Use Change: An Evaluation of Oregon’s Policies for Preserving Agricultural Land and Riparian Areas
Author: Judith A. Dempsey 1, Andrew J. Plantinga 2,*, Jeffrey D. Kline 3, Joshua J. Lawler 4, Sebastian Martinuzzi 5 and Volker C. Radeloff 6
Affiliation: 1 Federal Communications Commission, USA
2 Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
3 Pacific Northwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, USA
4 School of Forest Resources, University of Washington, USA
5 Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin; USA
6 Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin; USA; *Email: plantinga@bren.ucsb.edu
Abstract: Land-use regulations can have a strong influence on land-use decisions by private landowners and, therefore, understanding the effects of land-use regulations is essential to the development of models of land-use change. We study Oregon’s land-use planning system, which is distinctive for its comprehensive and stringency. Two of its central objectives are the protection of farm and forest lands and the conservation of natural resources. These goals are pursued with zoning, the designation of urban growth boundaries (UGBs), and other regulations. We evaluate the effectiveness of Oregon’s land-use laws in preserving agricultural land and preventing development and disturbance of land in riparian areas. In doing so, we confront a fundamental obstacle to the accurate measurement of the effects of land-use regulations. Zoning and other rules are not randomly assigned to land parcels, which means that a simple comparison of lands subject to certain rules and lands not subject to these rules does not necessarily indicate the effects of the regulation. To mitigate the problem of non-random assignment of regulations, we evaluate Oregon’s land-use planning system using a difference-in-difference estimator. Spatially-explicit data from the Land Cover Trends project is used to measure land cover before and after implementation of Oregon’s land-use planning system. The change in land cover for unregulated lands is assumed to represent the change that would have occurred (i.e., the counterfactual change) on regulated lands. We find that, outside of UGBs, the rate of development for agricultural lands has been low and similar to the rate for non-agricultural lands. However, inside of UGBs, agricultural lands have been developed at much higher rates (a 27 percentage point difference) than other lands. In contrast, development and disturbance rates for riparian areas have been lower with Oregon’s land-use planning program in effect. Inside and outside of UGBs, the likelihood of development and disturbance in riparian areas was found to be approximately two percentage points lower. The implications of these findings for the development of land-use change models and the design of effective conservation policies is explored.

Last update: 25 April 2014

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