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Session Overview
Location: UniS-A -126
UniS building, room A-126, basement, 80 seats
Date: Wednesday, 24/Apr/2019
11:15am - 12:45pm326R: Can decision support tools enhance interventions towards land system transformation?
Session Chair: Isabelle Providoli
UniS-A -126 
Full talk
ID: 649 / 326R: 1
326R Can decision support tools enhance interventions towards land system transformation?
Keywords: Invasive alien plant species, Sustainable land management, Decision Support

Considering spatio-temporal processes in co-designing sustainable land management strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of invasive alien plant species

Albrecht Ehrensperger1, Beatice Adoyo3, Tena Alamirew5, Urs Baumgartner1, Simon Choge4, Sandra Eckert1, René Eschen2, George Kajembe6, Charles Kilawe6, Boniface Kiteme3, John Richard Mbwambo7, Brehanu Mergesa5, Urs Schaffner2

1Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland; 2CABI, Delémont, Switzerland; 3Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD), Nanyuki, Kenya; 4Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Marigat, Kenya; 5Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC), Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; 6Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania; 7Tanzania Forest Research Institute (TAFORI), Lushoto, Tanzania

Invasive alien plant species (IAPS) are key drivers of anthropogenic environmental change, as they threaten native species, communities, and ecosystems, with significant impacts on peoples’ lives. Yet, IAPS management decisions may lead to trade-offs between complex and often competing environmental, social, and economic objectives. This is particularly the case for numerous invasive trees and shrubs planted in Africa during the 19th and 20th century to provide wood and fodder or to stabilize degraded ecosystems. Another challenge is that biological invasions are by nature spatial and temporal processes. Thus, while benefits may outweigh costs at early invasion stages, the inherent property of IAPS to spread and outcompete native vegetation massively increases negative effects on nature and people in later invasion stages. Addressing both challenges requires negotiations among affected stakeholders.

We developed a management strategy against key IAPS in Eastern Africa, focusing on Prosopis spp. and Lantana camara, which are considered among the world’s worst invaders. We used a structured deliberative multi-criteria decision support process (Schwilch et al. 2012) to engage stakeholders in the co-design and implementation of mitigation measures and combined this process with a priority setting exercise, during which stakeholders valued ecosystem services to be restored by sustainable land management (SLM) practices and reflected on possible trade-offs and synergies. To enable stakeholders co-designing spatially explicit management strategies, we developed a workshop module to share and discuss scientific and local knowledge about biological invasions and the impacts of target species on nature and people. We introduced the three-tiered IAPS management approach linked to different stages of invasions: prevention, early detection and rapid response, and control. Finally, we adapted the process to integrate practices in spatially explicit management strategies. We conclude that the integration of spatio-temporal considerations in SLM strategies is suitable to tackle multiple drivers threatening the stability of social-ecological systems.

Full talk
ID: 724 / 326R: 2
326R Can decision support tools enhance interventions towards land system transformation?
Keywords: decision support; mainstreaming; scaling out; sustainable land management; multi-stakholder process

Decision support tools for mainstreaming and scaling out Sustainable Land Management

Nicole Harari, Isabelle Providoli, Urs Baumgartner, Rima Mekdaschi Studer, Felicitas Bachmann, Hanspeter Liniger

University of Bern, Switzerland

Poor land and water management and a lack of appropriate governance frameworks to deal with increasing pressure on limited resources lead to degradation of the land resources upon which rural communities and society depend. Without effective knowledge management and decision support tools and processes, sustainable land management (SLM) will remain ineffective.

To achieve scaling up and wide adoption of SLM a knowledge management system for evidence-based decision making and a mainstreaming and scaling out strategy have to be in place at national and/or landscape level from the beginning of an intervention, and budget allocated to them. This can be facilitated by a framework, which supports decision making on where and what SLM practices are to be up- and out-scaled and the promotion of the necessary enabling environments at the appropriate scales.[1] FAO and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) have developed a decision support framework (DSF) through the GEF/ FAO project ‘Decision support for mainstreaming and scaling out of SLM’, which provides guidance to countries in SLM mainstreaming and scaling out. The DSF was applied with 15 countries worldwide. Their country-specific processes and successes in scaling will be presented.

At the local level, the participatory negotiation and selection of promising SLM options in a multi-stakeholder process with farmers, local decision-makers and local SLM experts is key for a successful dissemination of good practices and adoption by farmers. The Centre for Development and Environment and WOCAT have developed a methodology together with local partners which is applied in different projects, e.g. an IFAD-funded project in Laos, Cambodia and Uganda, and an FAO project in Morocco. Experiences made with the application of this methodology in different contexts and the related opportunities and limitations with regards to scaling SLM will be showcased.

[1] UNCCD SPI (2017).

Full talk
ID: 325 / 326R: 3
326R Can decision support tools enhance interventions towards land system transformation?
Keywords: livestock, trade-offs, game, simulations, learning space

Developing inclusive visions for transforming livestock value chains using participatory modelling and serious gaming in sub-Saharan Africa

Catherine Pfeifer1, Joanne Morris2, Dawit Mulatu3, Jon Ensor2

1Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Swizerland; 2Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) , UK; 3Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC)/EDRI, Ethiopia

Livestock is a major land user in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly for feed and fodder production. With increasing populations and incomes, the demand for animal sourced foods is projected to double in the next 10 years. Therefore, livestock production systems will have to adjust, potentially transforming land use and natural resources management practices, with associated social, economic and environmental impacts.

We report on the creation of a “learning space” to address these challenges. Our approach embeds a simulation tool into a serious game. The tool is spatially explicit ex-ante simulator that computes the environmental impact of alternative livestock value chains. At its core it is a spatial allocation model that computes land use based on the location and composition of animal feed and fodder.

Participants in the learning space define scenarios, based on types of livestock and management system (including feed composition). The process results in several indicators: production (amount of milk and meat produced), land use (amount of land used for different feed), environmental (water use, greenhouse gasses, nitrogen balance and biodiversity), and socio-economic (defined by stakeholders themselves). Participants are able to assess the desirability of alternative scenarios through their assessment of these indicators. Through playing the game, stakeholders (farmers, traders, policy-makers and local experts) negotiate in mixed groups, iteratively adjusting the scenarios to identify trade-offs and synergies emerging from the land system.

The learning space in Atsbi, Tigray, Ethiopia in 2018 has shown that the community is willing to keep more sensitive (i.e. difficult to maintain) but more productive cross-breed dairy cows and sheep (for meat production), while reducing all other cattle. This increased and more efficient animal source food production reduces livestock land use, minimizing additional greenhouse gas emissions while improving nitrogen soil balance, women’s decision-making power and income opportunities for the marginalized groups.

Full talk
ID: 721 / 326R: 4
326R Can decision support tools enhance interventions towards land system transformation?
Keywords: participatory rangeland management, drylands, co-management of natural resources, Morocco

Participatory co-management of natural resources in an arid and semi-arid region in Morocco

Pascale Waelti Maumier1, Stefan Graf1, Christoph Studer1, Matteo Jucker1, Isabelle Providoli2, Gudrun Schwilch2

1School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Switzerland; 2Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland

Sustainable land management (SLM) provides flexible, adaptable solutions in a world of fast-changing natural conditions (e.g. climate change and variability, extreme weather events), social conditions (e.g. migration, feminization of agriculture), and economic conditions (e.g. changing markets). Participatory co-management of natural resources is key and requires careful selection of alternatives and making decisions based on evaluation of diverse SLM technology and approach options according to multiple objectives and criteria. However, there is a general lack of guidance for decision-makers how to structure effective, participatory processes to select the best option. The Centre for Development and Environment, WOCAT and its partners and collaborating projects have developed a methodological framework for Decision Support for SLM at the local level.

In a FAO watershed management project in Morocco the WOCAT decision support methodology has been applied in the Middle Atlas, where rangelands and management of collective lands play an important role. The management of these rangelands involves the intervention of a large number of users and other actors, each with their own objectives, as well as the implementation of collective actions. In order to better take into account the particular challenges associated with rangeland, the WOCAT methodology has been merged with the participatory rangeland management (PRM) approach tested and adapted by the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL) in this region.

Participatory co-management of natural resources consists of three phases: an investigation phase, a negotiation phase and an implementation phase. The PRM approach provides valuable tools, such as participatory mapping and stakeholder analysis, for the investigation and negotiation phase, while WOCAT allows the selection of diverse SLM technology and approach options according to multiple objectives and criteria by the involved stakeholders in the negotiation phase. Experiences made with the application of this methodology and the related opportunities and limitations will be showcased.

Flash talk
ID: 526 / 326R: 5
323R Understanding and operationalizing the sustainability concept for guiding urban transformations
Keywords: urban transformation, sustainability, urban forms, planning, urban land simulations, U.S.

Simulation of the underlying factors of urban transformation and characterizing the effects of planning in guiding sustainable urban forms: a case study of Austin metropolitan area, Texas, U.S.

Chunhong Zhao

Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland

Several urban planning initiates and practices worldwide are paying growing attention to sustainable development of “urban forms” (e.g., spatial pattern of human activities). Regional and local planners and governments have been trying to steer the urban growth processes for compact urban forms, for example through the “new urbanism” and “smart growth” movement. Despite ample of previous work in understanding the interactions between human action and urban form transformation at specific areas, the actual intervenes and outcomes of planning and policies (e.g., ‘smart growth’) on urban forms have been poorly illustrated and measured. Recently, studies have emphasized roles of land-use policies and spatial planning as the underlying driving factor for land-use change. The hypothesis of this study is that spatial planning and policies are an important factor changing urban forms and should be integrated into land change models. The Austin metropolitan area (AMS), Texas, U.S., one of the fastest urban growth and transformations region, is selected to test the hypothesis through following steps:

1) Measuring the historical urban form transformations of AMS from the year 1992 to 2016;

2) Exploring and modeling the driving mechanism of the urban form transformations identified above. The related topographic, economic and demographic driving factors are selected based on previous studies;

3) Besides the factors in step 2), the current and historical comprehensive and regional planning intentions and implementations of AMS are quantified and incorporated into the simulation model designed in above step to test the hypothesis.

The outcome of the study will help to examine the role of regional and local comprehensive plans for sustainable urban transformation within the U.S culture. For example, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Regional Transportation Plan aimed to direct new growth to compact activity centers for jobs, housing, and services. The research will evaluate contributions of relevant plans.

Full talk
ID: 755 / 326R: 6
319R Understanding socio-ecological change and transformation of coastal land in low elevated coastal zones (LECZ)
Keywords: socio-ecological resilience, pluvial and coastal inundation, research co-design, vulnerability

Enhancing socio-ecological resilience in low elevated coastal zones subject to recurrent inundation

Narcisa Gabriela Pricope, Christopher Hidalgo, Joanne Nancie Halls

University of North Carolina Wilmington, United States of America

Densely populated low-lying coastal locations are vulnerable to threats associated with land use changes and climate variability, especially pluvial and coastal inundation. Through a combination of poorly coordinated regional land use planning, weak implementation of mitigation or adaptation practices, and high socio-ecological vulnerability, in the United States alone, millions of coastal households are at risk and will be affected by inundation related to storms and sea-level rise in coming decades, as most recently evidenced by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, USA. With such large at-risk populations, identifying the intersection of social vulnerability and physical risk to inundation is essential for both planning and adaptation purposes in complex socio-ecological systems. Through community engagement at hierarchical governance scales and modeling of socio-ecological dynamics, we seek to understand the interplay among land use changes occurring at multiple spatial and temporal scales, socio-economic changes and shifting physical exposure in the Atlantic coastal plain. We present an integrated socio-ecological model of vulnerability at the block-group level of geography using census data to measure social variability and highly-resolved physical exposure based on finished floor elevation of individual buildings. We identify in a spatially-explicit manner and at multiple levels of governance areas of high social vulnerability and their intersection with areas of high physical exposure to inundation. We then work with local and regional governance bodies to create actionable, needs-based resources to help build community resilience at multiple scales in vulnerable coastal communities. Testing our socio-ecological vulnerability model against actual pluvial and coastal inundation extents resulting from Hurricane Florence, we show how we can merge socio-ecological modeling efforts with needs-based digital tools aimed at enhancing resilience in low elevated coastal zones by co-designing planning and adaptation strategies with stakeholders, communities and transboundary governance bodies in areas that suffer from repeated catastrophic inundation events.

Flash talk
ID: 652 / 326R: 7
204R Opportunities of farm and landscape level models in land use science for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessment
Keywords: Modelling, Land-use change, Bayesian networks, Drivers, Scenarios analysis

The influence of biophysical and socio-economic factors on land-use change in the North-East of Madagascar

Ravosaina Ntsiva Nirinimanitra Andriatsitohaina1, Enrico Celio2, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey2, Zo Hasina Rabemananjara1, Bruno Ramamonjisoa1

1ESSA-Forêts, Antananarivo Madagascar; 2ETH PLUS, Zurich Switzerland

In order to get an idea of future development paths in rural landscapes and to formulate more sustainable development strategies, it is essential to understand land-use change, the underlying decision-making mechanisms, and its drivers. In North-Eastern Madagascar, landscape change in forest frontier contexts mostly results from smallholder households decision-making. However, an investigation of land-use decision-making is lacking for this region. This contribution will address the question, how biophysical and socio-economic factors influence land-use change and what the effects on the landscape are. To this end, we applied a Bayesian network-based land-use decision modeling approach which allowed us to analyze land-use decision-making in a spatially-explicit manner. In particular, we analyzed land-use change outcomes under water supply and availability variations.

Results show that households made land-use decisions (a) according to the biophysical situation of the plot such as water availability, slope or soil fertility and (b) following to their intention driven by economic considerations. In addition, the presence of protected areas influenced farmers’ decision-making. They intensified or converted shifting cultivation into agroforestry land. Scenarios analysis revealed that if water situation fail, expansion of agroforestry systems within the landscape will continue. The results help discuss the water management situation as dysfunction of irrigation system and unintended/adverse effects of protected areas such as boundary restriction.

4:15pm - 5:45pm358N: Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Session Chair: Andrea Gaughan
Session Chair: Catherine Linard
Session Chair: Alessandro Sorichetta
Session Chair: Forrest R. Stevens
Session Chair: Stefan Leyk
Session Chair: Greg Yetman
UniS-A -126 
ID: 508 / 358N: 1
358N Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Keywords: settlement, uncertainty, spatio-temporal analysis, urban people, urban land

Analysis of settlement and population changes in urban settings of the U.S over more than 100 years

Stefan Leyk1, Deborah Balk2

1University of Colorado Boulder; 2Baruch College, City University of New York

This paper will examine changes in the built-environment and how they relate to changes in population, in particular urban population in the United States. It will use new data sets that allow investigation of changes in built structures since the 19th century. These data will be integrated with remote-sensing based global settlement layers representing the period of 1975-present, and census data (1990-2010). By comparing these disparate data sets, we aim to gain a much fuller understanding of population and settlement dynamics in urban areas, as well as how land-based and population-based urban measures correspond or not in other, data-poor regions.

ID: 491 / 358N: 2
358N Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Keywords: gridded population models, random forest, demographics, global, remote sensing, GIS

Harmonizing global gridded population outputs over space and time

Andrea Gaughan1, Alessandro Sorichetta2, Forrest Stevens1, Greg Yetman4, Catherine Linard3, Maksym Bondarenko2, Alessandra Carioli2, Sophie Hanspal2, Theo Hilber2, Graeme Hornby2, William H.M. James2, David Kerr2, Chris Lloyd2, Jane Mills4, Jeremiah Nieves2, Kristine Nilsen2, Carla Pezzulo2, Linda Pistolesi4, Natalia Tejedor-Garavito2, Nikolaos Vesnikos2, Adelle Wigley2, Andrew Tatem2

1University of Louisville; 2University of Southampton, UK; 3University of Namur; 4Columbia University

The WorldPop Global data collection includes population surfaces for total populations as well as breakdowns by 5-year age groups and sex, at annual time-steps between 2000 and 2020, with a spatial resolution of 3 arc seconds. Seamless global layers are implemented using consistent analytical methods and are accompanied by metadata outlining inputs and quality assessments. The unique, high-resolution and value open data source is created to meet stakeholder needs. The population maps are discussed in the context of globally available data for how such data is used for better monitoring, planning, and decision making regarding development, conservation and land management.

ID: 555 / 358N: 3
358N Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Keywords: Population density, Africa, urban, spatial resolution, data fusion

Mapping built-up and population densities in African cities

Catherine Linard1, Yann Forget2, Taïs Grippa2, Jessica E. Steele3, Eléonore Wolff2, Michal Shimoni4

1Université de Namur, Belgium; 2Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; 3University of Southampton, UK; 4Royal Military Academy, Belgium

Sub-Saharan African cities are experiencing fast urban growth associated with massive urban poverty and increasing intra-urban inequalities. Knowing how the population is distributed within highly heterogeneous cities is very important to help urban research and land management. While very-high resolution built-settlement layers are expected to significantly increase the accuracy of population density predictions, their acquisition and processing costs reduce their use for population mapping in low income countries. This paper will evaluate the potentialities of built-up layers extracted from a fusion of freely-available medium-resolution optical and SAR data for urban population mapping in sub-Saharan Africa.

ID: 865 / 358N: 4
358N Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Keywords: population modelling, census data, human populations, settlement mapping, land change

Mapping people to pixels, an overview of population modelling approaches and challenges

Forrest R. Stevens1, Andrea E. Gaughan1, Catherine Linard2, Alessandro Sorichetta3, Stefan Leyk4, Deborah Balk5, Gregory Yetman6, Robert S. Chen6

1University of Louisville, United States of America; 2Université de Namur, Belgium; 3University of Southampton, United Kingdom; 4University of Colorado, Boulder, United States of America; 5City University of New York, United States of America; 6Columbia University, United States of America

The research presented in our session represents both users and producers of gridded population data. Through a high-level discussion of the approaches that produce such data, as well as the methodological considerations for how these data are used, we hope to facilitate an understanding of the utility and limitations of gridded population data for the land system and land change communities. A discussion of bottom-up, top-down, and hybrid modelling techniques for gridded data will be presented. We will also highlight data and techniques for evaluating which data products, under what constraints may be best suited for common applications.

ID: 395 / 358N: 5
358N Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Keywords: GHG emission inventories, CO2, Gridded population data, South-East Asia

South-East Asia population and CO2 emission mapping

Alessandro Sorichetta1, Andrea Gaughan2, Forrest Stevens2, Laura Krauser2, Greg Yetman3, Tomohiro Oda4, Rostyslav Bun5

1WorldPop, University of Southampton, United Kingdom; 2University of Louisville, USA; 3CIESIN, Columbia University, USA; 4NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; 5Lviv Polytechnic National University/WSB University

Greenhouse gases emission inventories represent the primary tool to monitor emission trends over time at country level. However, such inventories do not provide any insight about the subnational spatial distribution of the emissions, which is needed to successfully implement the UNFCCC. The results obtained by using night-time light data for modeling the spatial distribution of CO2 emissions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia are compared with high-resolution gridded population distribution data for 2000-05-10. This is done to assess errors/uncertainties in the CO2 spatial model outputs that are otherwise difficult to quantify due to the lack of physical measurements.

ID: 514 / 358N: 6
358N Gridded population and settlement data and models for integrative analysis of land systems
Keywords: population, settlement, modeling

The high resolution settlement layer: improving population allocation methods

Greg Yetman1, Parmanand Sinha2, Andrea Gaughan2, Forrest Stevens2, Jane Mills1

1Columbia University, United States of America; 2University of Louisville

Rural population distribution is often neglected in global and large-region modeled population datasets. Version 1 of the High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL) combines detailed (0.5m) optical imagery data with census estimates to create a detailed population surface that includes small rural settlements using simple proportional allocation. An evaluation of improved methods for a more realistic allocation of population based on the HRSL detailed settlement extents and additional spatial predictors are presented. The comparative strengths and weaknesses of the methods are discussed and the relative importance of the predictors used is presented.

Date: Thursday, 25/Apr/2019
10:45am - 12:15pm206R: Relevance of long-term land-use change for sustainable land management
Session Chair: Simone Gingrich
Session Chair: Matthias Bürgi
UniS-A -126 
Full talk
ID: 429 / 206R: 1
206R Relevance of long-term land-use change for sustainable land management
Keywords: spy satellite data, long term land use, forest, steppe, Corona

Unlocking the potential of Cold War Spy Satellite data for land change assessments

Catalina Munteanu1,2, Mihai Daniel Nita2, Volker Radeloff3, Garik Gutman4, Tobias Kuemmerle1

1Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany; 2Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania; 3University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA; 4National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA

Historic land uses may have major economic, political and human implications, and they can strongly affect the environment and land use into the future. They produce land use legacies that can persist for decades or centuries. Yet, these can be hard to quantify, because broad scale data records usually only go back a few decades. We used Cold War Corona spy satellite photography in conjunction with contemporary land use data for three case studies in Romania, Vietnam and Kazakhstan, to show the potential of this data for long term land change assessments. In Romania, we found that rates of forest harvest in the 1960s were three times higher than today, and this may affect contemporary forest disturbance. In Vietnam, following bombing in the late 60s, forest took 30 years to recover, and contemporary micro-topography and was permanently altered. In Kazakhstan, we found that Cold War agricultural development caused contemporary decrease in marmot populations, affecting the ecosystem balance. Overall we suggest that contemporary land management needs to account for historic data and highlight that Corona imagery may provide a reliable historic source of land use information worldwide. Our approach facilitates the extension of the data record of space borne observation of the Earth by one to two decades earlier than what is possible with traditional satellite datasets.

Full talk
ID: 632 / 206R: 2
206R Relevance of long-term land-use change for sustainable land management
Keywords: Soil organic matter mineralization, tropical agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions, shade cultivation

Long-term impacts of land use changes on the carbon footprint and nitrogen balance of coffee production in Costa Rica, 1838-2014

Eduardo Aguilera1, Juan Infante-Amate2, Wilson Picado3

1ETSI Agronomos, Technical University of Madrid, Spain; 2Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain; 3Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica

The cultivation of agricultural commodities in tropical countries has made exotic products available to a large share of the population in the world, but it is also related to environmental impacts, including land use change, nutrient losses and greenhouse gas emissions. In this work, we take coffee production in Costa Rica as a case study of the evolution of the C footprint of a tropical woody crop product. We have considered the whole coffee cultivation area in the country since it began in 1838, until 2014. All components of NPP and external inputs have been estimated in terms of N and C. For the first time, the long-term (almost two centuries) evolution of the C stock of a tropical crop system has been fully reconstructed, including the coffee bush layer, the shade layer, their belowground components and the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock. The C footprint has been estimated through LCA, incorporating the impacts of land use changes. The preliminary results unveil a complex pattern in the N balance and C footprints, with land use changes playing a major role on the observed trends. During the early expansion of coffee, mainly sun-grown, the massive release of C and N from the mineralization of organic matter led to very high N losses and C footprint, which decreased with the expansion of shade-grown coffee at the turn of the century. The impacts of indirect land use changes, however, decreased only in the late 20th century. The rapid modernization by mid-20th century boosted again N losses, which, together with fossil fuel use, increased the C footprint, although the latter was largely offset by yield increases. A reforestation process has taken place in the last decades, potentially offsetting a large share of coffee emissions.

Full talk
ID: 337 / 206R: 3
206R Relevance of long-term land-use change for sustainable land management
Keywords: long-term land-use change, climate-change mitigation, long-term socio-ecological research

Which processes enabled the Austrian forest transition? Re-evaluating the climate change mitigation effect of long-term reforestation

Simone Gingrich, Christian Lauk

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria

Land systems are coupled socio-ecological systems, shaped equally by ecosystem properties and societal interventions. Interdisciplinary research on land systems however rarely addresses the fact that the transformation of ecosystems by societies not only related to policies and decision-making, but also to biophysical practices, including the use of energy or energy-dependent modern inputs. This has important implications for evaluating the climate-change mitigation contribution of land systems.

In this presentation, we re-evaluate the climate-change mitigation effect of the Austrian forest transition, i.e. the net shift from deforestation to reforestation, which occurred in the mid-19th century. We argue that this transition was possible only because forests were relieved from pressure through other emission-intensive processes, including woodfuel substitution, agricultural intensification, and increasing trade. We study the relevance of these processes for enabling reforestation and quantify their GHG implications. We then compare these emissions to the carbon sink of Austrian ecosystems to assess the net climate-change mitigation effect of long-term reforestation in Austria. While the processes which occurred in Austria during the 19th century differ greatly from ongoing forest transition processes e.g. in tropical countries, we aim to draw general lessons on the interrelation of forest transitions and their “hidden emissions” outside the forest sector.

Full talk
ID: 250 / 206R: 4
206R Relevance of long-term land-use change for sustainable land management
Keywords: Wildland-Urban Interface, WUI, land use change, Carpathians

Drivers of the mid-19th and 21st century Wildland-Urban Interface in the Polish Carpathians

Dominik Kaim, Marcin Szwagrzyk, Krzysztof Ostafin

Jagiellonian University, Poland

The Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) is the area, where houses and wildland vegetation meet or intermingle, which causes many environmental problems incl. wildfires, disease transfer, human-animal conflict or spread of invasive species. As many mountain areas in Europe face currently forest cover increase, and at the same time development of the settlements, WUI areas tend to increase. However, little is known, how did WUI evolve in long-term perspective. In this work, we analyse WUI extent in the Polish Carpathians (20 000 km2) in mid-19th and at the beginning of 21st century based on the information from historical maps, statistical data and current spatial databases. Our results show that WUI area increased from 30% in mid-19th century to 49% currently. The analysis showed also that WUI is persistent over time, as more than 90% of the WUI areas from mid-19th century is still WUI currently. The analysis of the environmental and socioeconomic variables showed that similar drivers are responsible for WUI existence over time. While both in mid-19th and 21st century slope, elevation and distance to cities were helpful in explaining WUI existence, the differences are also noticeable. Historically forest ownership was an important driver of WUI, while currently settlement density seems to be important. Our results show that WUI is a long-term and persistent phenomenon. While currently, we can observe high WUI dynamics, it seems that it will be an important land use legacy for the future land management. On the other hand, the areas where WUI vanished over time, are currently particulary interesting opportunities for environmental protection, as the human impact on wildland is lower there, than it used to be.

Full talk
ID: 671 / 206R: 5
206R Relevance of long-term land-use change for sustainable land management
Keywords: historical data, CLUE, land-use change modelling, land-use legacies, spatial analysis

400 years of land use path-dependence in temperate Russia

Victor Matasov, Oleg Zheleznyy, Dmitry Khitrov

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation

Our study is based on historical land use reconstruction with a help of CLUE model for analysing three key areas in the northern part of Ryazan region, namely the Meshchera Lowlands. Original land use data had been obtained from Scribe Books (XVII), General Land Survey maps (XVIII c.), Atlas Mende maps (XIX c.), Corona satellite imagery (XX c.) and modern satellite images (XXI c.). Two kinds of factors influencing land use distribution were analysed: local biophysical (various relief, hydrology, soil parameters) and socio-economic (population density, distance to roads, rivers, etc). Results of logistic regression analysis were used for running the model. In most of existing models population density is the main driver of land use transformation, so one of our goals was to manipulate model parameters and examine the role population density plays in land use dynamics and spatial distribution across the key areas of research. Our results suggest that the relationship is very complex and often hugely dependent on other factors. Comparison of generated and existing land use patterns shows that population density does not determine the extent and spatial distribution of agricultural transformation on this scale. Our results showed that harvested cropland area increased only marginally before the Russian revolution in 1917 despite modest population growth. During the Soviet time, the share of grassland increased at the expense of croplands while the post-socialist period after 1991 was characterized by widespread land abandonment. The development of agriculture was limited by natural factors through all the time.

The study was supported by RFBR, project № 16-17-10045.

Flash talk
ID: 510 / 206R: 6
106R Land systems for conservation science
Keywords: Commodities, Croplands, Mexico, NAFTA, Pasturelands

Beyond deforestation: Land cover transitions in Mexico

Martha Bonilla-Moheno1, T. Mitchell Aide2

1Red de Ambiente y Sustentabilidad. Instituto de Ecologia, A.C.,Mexico; 2Department of Biology. University of Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Conversion of land cover is one on the main causes of global environmental change, and identifying the regions where sustained trends of land change are occurring provides useful information for land and resources management. We analyzed land use changes over 14 years (2001-2014) at the ecoregion scale for Mexico using MODIS images (250m). Ecoregions are useful to capture the environmental context. We identified the significant trends of land cover change from the three main classes (cropland, pastureland, and woody vegetation). Results show spatial segregation of areas where important trends are occurring. In general, woody and cropland cover increased while pastures decreased; however, the extent and the spatial aggregation of major changes varied greatly across ecoregions. The majority of cropland expansion was concentrated in Sonora and Chihuahuan deserts in northern Mexico, while the greatest reduction in the Tamaulipan mezquital. The decline in pastures mainly occurred in dry forest ecoregion along the Pacific coast in the Balsas dry forests ecoregions and along the Trans Mexican volcanic belt, while pasture expansion occurred in most ecoregions from the moist forest. In fact, dramatic deforestation rates prevail in tropical moist forests, prominently the Veracruz and Peten-Veracruz, due to pasture expansion. Hotspots of increase in crops did not correspond with hotspots of decline in pastures. National and international markets, and coupled with local environmental conditions, land abandonment, violence, climate change, and national policies have influenced these complex dynamics. We discuss specific drivers for some of the presented land use trends.

1:30pm - 3:00pm204R: Opportunities of farm and landscape level models in land use science for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessment
Session Chair: Veronika Gaube
Session Chair: Martin Schönhart
UniS-A -126 
Full talk
ID: 799 / 204R: 1
204R Opportunities of farm and landscape level models in land use science for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessment
Keywords: Integrated modelling, ecosystem services, biodiversity, stakeholder, review

Integrated modelling frameworks as means for assessing ecosystem services and biodiversity at landscape level

Martin Schönhart, Erwin Schmid

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Austria

Rural landscapes are dominated by agriculture and forestry in many parts of Europe. Competing private and societal demands on particular ecosystem services (ESS) and ecosystem integrity result in land use conflicts. Integrated Modelling Frameworks (IMFs) are one option to quantify trade-offs and synergies of land use choices and to inform land use decision making and policies. IMFs in land use science are diverse with respect to its components and component linkages but typically share bio-physical and socio-economic modules. For landscape level applications, they need to tackle among others a high spatial resolution of input and output data, high system complexities and dynamics, data and knowledge gaps, and conflicts with temporal and spatial scales. Frequently, IMF applications at landscape scale are part of participatory research processes.

In our presentation, we review IMF approaches and results from multiple participatory research projects in Austria that analyzed land use trade-offs and synergies at field, farm, and landscape level. The employed IMFs usually consist of a crop rotation model, a bio-physical process model, and either a regional bottom-up economic land use optimization model or a bio-economic farm optimization model. They quantify relevant ecosystem services and biodiversity indicators. The typical ex-ante oriented research questions require contrasting socio-economic and climate scenario assumptions. By systematically addressing experience-based shortcomings of IMFs, we show opportunities for future model improvements.

While the presented IMFs are state of the art, portray major system components and turn out to be helpful in participatory policy processes, they still face challenges and constraints such as the consistency of interfaces between model components with respect to the dynamics of land management. Furthermore, the selected representation of system components, e.g. mutual impacts of land use, climate change, ecosystem services, and biodiversity can bias conclusions if major trade-offs and synergies remain unobserved.

Full talk
ID: 419 / 204R: 2
204R Opportunities of farm and landscape level models in land use science for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessment
Keywords: agent-based modelling, biodiversity, land use change, climate change, farmers decisions

Sheep, frogs and cows: Modelling spatially-explicit land use and ecosystem impacts under climate change in the French Pyrenees

Andreas Mayer1, Claudine Egger1, Veronika Gaube1, Christoph Plutzar1, Dirk Schmeller2, Adeline Louyau2

1University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Boku Vienna, Austria; 2Ecolab Toulouse

Land-use and climate change are pervasive drivers of global environmental change, posing major threats to global ecosystems and biodiversity. Research to date has mostly focused either on land-use change or on climate change, but rarely on the interactions between both drivers, even though systemic feedbacks between changes in climate and land use will have important effects on livestock, ecosystems and biodiversity. Climate change will not only alter patterns of temperature, precipitation or species pools, it will also motivate land owners to reconsider their land use decisions.

In an ongoing project (MoLUP), we collaborate in an interdisciplinary research effort with the ongoing Belmont project (P3). There, we explore anticipated systemic feedbacks between (1) climate change, (2) land owner’s decisions on land use, (3) land-use change, and (4) changes in ecosystems and hydrological regimes in the coming decades in selected mountain areas in the French Pyrenees. We explicitly focus on the role of alpine livestock systems and livestock grazing in mountain regions.

We expand and refine SECLAND, an agent-based model which we have developed for the Eisenwurzen Region in Austria, that simulates decisions of important actors, and develop a spatially explicit GIS model that translates these decisions into maps of changes in land cover and land use patterns, which we will implement for the Department Ariége in the French Pyrenees. For MoLUP, the most relevant agents are land managers (e.g. farms) that make land-use decisions dependent on framework conditions (e.g. agricultural prices and subsidies) as well as intrinsic preferences and societal norms (i.e. their farming style), that may change over time. Expert interviews and interviews during field trips allow incorporating regional specifics of the respective sites into the ABM and deepen the understanding of farmers motivations behind their land use decisions. In addition, hydrological data as well as data on pollution and pathogens will be integrated into the model. This integrated socioecological model will allow to explore the option space for future land use under climate change and to assess both the direct and indirect land-use mediated effects of a warming climate on mountain ecosystems.

Full talk
ID: 828 / 204R: 3
204R Opportunities of farm and landscape level models in land use science for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessment
Keywords: Participatory modelling, Shifting cultivation, Land-use change, Farmer resource allocation strategies

Participatory modelling with farmers, exploring the what, how and why of land-use change.

Swen Petrus Maria Bos1, Tina Cornioley1, Claude Garcia1,2

1ETH Zurich, Switzerland; 2Cirad Montpelier, France

Shifting cultivation is still widespread throughout the tropics, and the main agricultural production system for the rural poor living in forest margins. Though often blamed as a main cause of both forest degradation and deforestation, it is the discontinuation of shifting cultivation, and its replacement by intensified land uses, that results in far larger negative environmental impacts.

Understanding what drives this change requires us to study what motivates farmers to transition away from one system, in this case shifting cultivation (Jhum), into another, such as plantation crops. Given that decisions are made in an environment where resources, such as labour and cash, are often limited, we argue that it is important to put stakeholders in front of these investment decisions, in a safe modelling environment, and to analyse the drivers and impacts of these decisions together.

In this study, we explored the resource allocation strategies of the Jhum farmers of the Karbi tribe in Northeast India. Their forested tribal lands have a very high conservation value, and any major change to the system would have dire consequences for the conservation effort of the adjacent Kaziranga National Park's rhinos, elephants and other wildlife.

Together with the Jhum farmers, we developed an interactive model of the local farming system, in the form of a game. Here farmers allocate labour and cash to meet household needs, to improve their standard of living, or to invest in new opportunities like bamboo, rubber and tea.

Throughout our study, it became clear that the farmers are actively striving to change their landscape, this to harness both existing and emerging economic opportunities, while improving their livelihoods. However, the trajectory of landscape change comes with a twist, investment strategies and priorities are quite surprising and the old practises that ensure food security remains unexpectedly persistent.

Full talk
ID: 548 / 204R: 4
204R Opportunities of farm and landscape level models in land use science for biodiversity and ecosystem service assessment
Keywords: Payment for ecosystem services, Land abandonment, Community partnership, Agent-based modeling

Effects of intercommunity partnership on direct payment for mountain agriculture in Japan: A case study using agent-based modeling

Kikuko Shoyama

United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, Japan

Due to depopulation and aging society, land abandonment and under-use of natural resources are now critical concerns threatening sustainable use of ecosystem services in Japan. To maintain agricultural landscapes, with the prevention of further abandonment of farmland, the direct payment program to farmers in hilly and mountainous areas was implemented since 2000. The government has invested over 52,000 million JPY per year, and 52,300 communities have received payment to maintain 662,583-ha farmland throughout the country. The program covered over 80% of target farmland. The program is characterized as community-based enrollment with the payments mainly used for collaborative works to maintain steep paddy and crop fields. However, due to the lack of successors for aging farmers, enrollment in the payment program should decrease, especially in depopulated communities. Thus, the government introduced the intercommunity partnership system into the program in 2015.

Herein we have developed an agent-based model to simulate the effects of intercommunity partnership on enrollment in payment for ecosystem services (PES) program. The study area was the Noto peninsula in Northern Japan. The area consists of nine local municipalities, which have 12,260 farmers in 961 communities. The area is recognized as a typical socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) with an area of 1,866 km2 registered as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in 2011. We conducted household surveys and collected agricultural census data to parameterize the farmers’ decision and spatial data to map potentially enrolled farmland to the program.

Our analysis revealed that four types of farmers (full-time farmers, part-time farmers, self-sufficient farmers, and farm organization) have different roles in their communities and contribute to developing intercommunity partnership through interaction with each other. By using an agent-based model, the number of each type of farmer and the area of enrolled and/or abandoned farmland were simulated up to 2050, at each payment level, assuming intercommunity partnership was involved more than at the current level. To develop further activities in the next generation program, strong leadership and partnership beyond environmental and social heterogeneity are required. The findings in this study can be considered in the context of the efficiency of various PES programs in other countries.

Full talk
ID: 281 / 204R: 5
107R Assessing, modelling, and analysing land use and land management impacts on the Earth system
Keywords: paddy expansion; ecosystem service value; land use change; agricultural land; remote sensing

Ecosystem service variations in response to paddy expansion in the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China

Fengqin Yan1,2, Shuwen Zhang1

1Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, People's Republic of; 2Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The ecosystem of the Sanjiang Plain in Northeast China has dramatically changed in the past four decades. This study investigated the history of paddy field expansion in the Sanjiang Plain and discovered the ecosystem service variations in response to paddy expansion. Integrating a series of Landsat images, we obtained the land use change patterns as well as the paddy expansion history from 1976 to 2015. Then, we calculated ecosystem service values to estimate the ecosystem service variations caused by paddy expansion in the past four decades. The results indicate that the paddy area increased from 404,789 to 2,598,449 ha during 1976-2015, leading to a decline in the total ecosystem service values by 76,414.39 million yuan. The largest decline in ESVs in response to paddy expansion was caused by wetland reclamation (-67,685.09 million yuan). Apart from agricultural products and gas regulation functions, the ESVs provided by other functions all showed a declining trend. Paddy expansion in the Sanjiang Plain increased agricultural product function at the expense of the decline of other functions. In future management practices, the rational allocation of water resources and paddy distribution are necessary in order to achieve sustainable development of both water resources and agricultural production. Additionally, restoration activities, such as conversion of farmland to wetland, should also be considered in this region.

Full talk
ID: 454 / 204R: 6
107R Assessing, modelling, and analysing land use and land management impacts on the Earth system
Keywords: integrated land use modelling, Western Corn Rootworm, climate change, crop rotation

Integrated modelling of crop rotation regulations to control Western Corn Rootworm under climate change

Katharina Falkner1, Hermine Mitter1, Elena Moltchanova2, Erwin Schmid1

1University of Natural Resources Vienna, Austria; 2University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Invasive pests and climate change may have severe ecological and economic impacts on agricultural production. Pests are closely linked to their host plants and climatic conditions are a key driver for pest spread and development. In Austria, the highly mobile Western Corn Rootworm (WCR; Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) is an invasive pest. Especially in maize intensive production regions, the continuous spread of WCR challenges farmers. Therefore, developing and assessing management strategies and policy regulations to decrease WCR pressure is important. Particularly, crop rotations with low maize shares are deemed an effective control strategy. In addition to climate change and crop rotations, other management strategies such as fertilization, irrigation and insecticide application may severely affect the environment and net returns and need to be considered when planning WCR control strategies. Hence, we have developed and employed a spatially explicit integrated modelling framework (IMF) that links a regional climate model, a crop rotation model, a bio-physical process model, a bottom-up land use optimization model and a statistical WCR spread and abundance model on 1 km spatial resolution. We have applied the IMF to Austrian cropland to assess the effectiveness of crop rotation regulations with limited maize shares on reducing WCR infestation under climate change. Furthermore, it allows us to analyze net returns and crop yield potentials considering three climate change scenarios and four crop rotation regulations. The model results show that increasing temperatures, especially in winter, and increasing precipitation sums in summer are favorable for WCR spread and development across Austrian cropland. Hotspots for WCR infestation are identified in maize intensive production regions. The results further show that crop rotation regulations with limited maize shares can be an effective strategy to control WCR, regardless of the climate change scenario. The presented analysis may inform the design of WCR policies and control strategies.

Date: Friday, 26/Apr/2019
10:30am - 12:00pm115R: Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Session Chair: Lan Wang-Erlandsson
Session Chair: Patrick William Keys
UniS-A -126 
Full talk
ID: 505 / 115R: 1
115R Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Keywords: deforestation, climate risk, agriculture, Brazil, ecosystem services

Agricultural losses from biogeophysical climate change in Brazil: A business case for ecosystem protection?

Avery Cohn, Sally Thompson

Tufts University, United States of America

In the Amazon and Cerrado biomes of Brazil, slowing ecosystem conversion could help to protect valuable ecosystem services, but comes at the cost of foregone revenue from the expansion of agricultural activities. As part of a wider effort to estimate the likelihood that reducing ecosystem conversion will be net beneficial to key agricultural and government actors, we produced spatially explicit, near-term, probabilistic estimates of economic damage to the agricultural economy stemming from ecosystem services lost under ecosystem conversion. Underlying these estimates was an ecological forecasting framework. We assembled the framework using two sets of statistical models, selected for their predictive skill and drawing on remotely sensed and in situ evidence. The first model set predicted the response of agriculturally relevant rainfall and temperature parameters to regional land use and land cover change. The second set predicted the response of agricultural productivity to changes in the regional climate. Together with idealized land use and land cover scenarios, we linked these models and used them to forecast economic damage to the agricultural sector stemming from ecosystem conversion. The results of the forecast exhibited a high degree of uncertainty, but nevertheless revealed the costs of damage from a considerable area of ecosystem conversion to robustly exceed the opportunity cost of conservation. Partitioning the uncertainty demonstrated several priority areas for improved modeling and data in the agricultural, ecological, and climatological domains.

Full talk
ID: 338 / 115R: 2
115R Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Keywords: Climate feedbacks, Soil Moisture Temperature Coupling (SMTC), Soil Moisture, Ethiopia, Tigray Region.

Mesoclimate regulation induced by landscape restoration and water harvesting in agroecosystems of the horn of Africa

Giulio Castelli1, Fabio Castelli2, Elena Bresci1

1Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems (GESAAF), Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy; 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA), Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy

When changes are made in a landscape, these changes may impact on the local climate. In arid and semi-arid agroecosystems of the world, measures such as Landscape Restoration and Water Harvesting (LRWH) are implemented to revert land degradation and increase soil moisture, reducing runoff losses and increasing agricultural yields. The present work aims to analyse to what extent storing soil moisture, with adequate land and water management practices, can reduce temperatures in the hot months after the rainy season, because of Soil Moisture-Temperature Coupling (SMTC), in a semi-arid climate such as the one of northern Ethiopian highlands. Since it is reported that soil moisture deficit can enhance heatwaves in diverse regions of the world, it is hypothesized that increasing soil water availability, during the dry and hot periods, can mitigate hot temperatures. The analysis has been carried for Enabered catchment, in Tigray Region, Ethiopia, where the rainy season runs from June to September. Here, large scale LRWH implementation ended in 2008. An analysis based on remote sensing data has been carried out to evaluate (1) to what extent LRWH implementation can enhance soil moisture conservation at agroecosystem scale; (2) to what extent LRWH implementation can mitigate temperatures in the dry season at agroecosystem scale; and (3) if SMTC effect was evident. Results showed an increased capacity of the catchment to maintain soil moisture accumulated in the rainy season, and reduce temperatures. Increase of soil moisture was especially significant for September (P < 0.01), while temperature decrease was evident in October (P < 0.01) and November (P < 0.05), with decreases of Land Surface Temperatures up to 1.74 °C. A simple, parsimonious linear regression model demonstrated that SMTC is evident at catchment scale and that the implementation of LRWH measures provided a climate regulation effect in the watershed. The present work can reinforce the call for an increased adoption of water harvesting, land restoration and green water management, to increase the resilience of agricultural ecosystem located in arid and semi-arid areas, that represent a key element to achieve global food security.

Full talk
ID: 775 / 115R: 3
115R Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Keywords: moisture recycling, tropical rainforest, resilience, drought

Dry periods amplify rainfall dependence on moisture recycling in the Amazon and Congo forests

Lan Wang-Erlandsson1,2, Ruud van der Ent3,4, Patrick Keys5, Ingo Fetzer1, Makoto Taniguchi2, Line Gordon1

1Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Sweden; 2Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan; 3Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; 4Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; 5Colorado State University, USA

Forests in the Amazon and Congo are vulnerable to rainfall decrease, and particularly during dry seasons and dry years. We use 34 years of reanalysis, synthesis precipitation data, and the moisture tracking model WAM-2layers to analyze anomalies in Amazon and Congo moisture recycling during the dry seasons and dry years (i.e., years with high water deficit or low rainfall). We find that the relative importance of forests as moisture suppliers for rainfall increase considerably during dry seasons. Dry years further amplify the dry season forest moisture recycling by 10-15 % in parts of both the Amazon and Congo. If mean dry season precipitation would fall to dry year levels, the risk for a forest-savanna transition would be substantially elevated in both Amazon and Congo. Further, we find that evaporation anomaly is able to explain up to half of the seasonal precipitationshed anomalies, and at least a third of the dry year dry season anomalies. The dry period intensification of moisture recycling implies an increased dependence on the forest for its own moisture, which may amplify interactions between deforestation and droughts. Thus, we conclude that it will be important to understand how moisture recycling amplification will develop in the future, specifically in terms of its role in mediating deforestation, climate change, and forest resilience.

Full talk
ID: 780 / 115R: 4
115R Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Keywords: climate, soil moisture, green water, cropland, yield

The importance of green water for understanding climate change impacts on crops

Nathan Mueller1, Angela Rigden2, Paul Levine1, Ethan Butler3, Peter Huybers2, James Randerson1

1University of California, Irvine, United States of America; 2Harvard University, United States of America; 3University of Minnesota, United States of America

Agricultural climate impact projections routinely rely upon temperature-based statistical models to characterize historical variability and project future crop yields, and exposure to extremely hot temperatures is associated with severe crop losses. However, high temperatures over land are often associated with soil moisture deficits, meaning reductions in yield due to reduced green water flows may be conflated with crop stress from high temperatures. Relying on temperature as an explanatory variable in yield projections therefore makes the implicit assumption that the historical association between soil moisture deficits and high temperatures will stay constant in a changing climate. Here we examine the historical association between soil moisture and summer temperatures, focusing on the US Great Plains. We then utilize climate model output to assess possible future trajectories of this association, finding that the historical pattern shifts substantially in a changing climate. Although there are interesting wetting and drying patterns, most warming occurs without the corresponding change in soil moisture that would have been inferred from the historical pattern. Therefore, temperature-based statistical crop yield models may be biased towards implicitly overestimating future reductions in green water flows and yields. The magnitude of this bias is assessed using a series of statistical models for rainfed and irrigated maize and soybean.

Full talk
ID: 751 / 115R: 5
115R Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Keywords: Green water, agricultural intensification, land use change, sustainable development

The interaction between the expansion and intensification of brazilian soybean production systems, and their effects on green water flows

Rafaela Flach

Hamburg University, Germany

Over the last couple of decades, cropland expansion has significantly re-allocated green water from terrestrial ecosystems towards agriculture. This type of land use change results in additional availability of land and water resources, but also connected to impacts to biodiversity and changes in the water cycle. Alongside this expansion, agricultural intensification practices such as double cropping result in greater output per unit of land and water, as well as more productive use of the available water throughout the annual cycle. Double-cropping systems have been shown to have much higher water-recycling potential than single cropping systems, being more similar to the natural vegetation in certain areas. We investigate the influence of these two processes – horizontal cropland expansion and agricultural intensification – in agricultural water use and green water flows in Brazil, with the objective to understand the trade-offs and synergies for land and water productivity. We applied the biophysical model EPIC to estimate yields and consumptive water use for single and double cropping of soybeans, maize and cotton in Brazil for 1990-2015. The results show a prevalence of cropland expansion, mostly in the Amazon and Cerrado regions, as the main cause of changes in total green water use. The yield increase in this period, related to technological improvements and management options, contributed to a more productive use of land and water resources throughout the country. However, when comparing single and double cropping systems, an even higher improvement of resource use per hectare is observed. Exploiting the potential for double cropping could be a sustainable option to increase agricultural production without further land conversion, while taking better advantage of the available water throughout the year. Finally, although our model results support the evidence for increase in the water-recycling potential that double-cropping, there are limitations to its similarity to natural vegetation levels.

Full talk
ID: 747 / 115R: 6
115R Water on land: The role of green water for social-ecological and Earth system resilience
Keywords: Green water, Migration, Resilience, Karamoja, Remote sensing, Soil moisture

Green water and livestock mobility in karamoja understanding the karimojong phrase “we follow our water”

Shuaib Lwasa, Benon Nabaasa

Makerere University, Uganda

The Karimojong of North Eastern Uganda are a nomadic pastoralist group largely dependent on livestock for a livelihood and have over time evolved a robust livestock system. Though pastoralism has proven to be a resilient system, the past few decades in the history of the planet have witnessed alterations in the earth’s systems. These shifts have in turn triggered responsive adaptation interventions among the pastoralists chief of which is frequent and longer livestock migrations in search of water and pasture. Pastoralism in Karamoja is heavily weather dependent and the dynamics of water and pasture are not only significant influences on the Karimojong socio-economic sphere but such dynamics also are key shapers of the Karimojong landscape. Although blue water is crucial for pastoralists and their livestock, Karimojong seasonal migrations and way of life are more often determined by green water in form of forage biomass spatial and temporal fluctuations which in turn depend on soil moisture. The Karimojong graze in a pattern that trails the receding soil moisture hence the local adage “We follow our water”. By tracking both herder movements and the spatial and temporal variation of soil moisture, this study makes quantitative conclusions in line with the Karimojong phrase “we follow our water”. Preliminary results reveal that soil moisture variations are a precursor to pastoralist movements, which migrations in turn set in a cascade of slow onset landscape changes. The study underpins the significance of green water in influencing the Karimojong way of life and in shaping the landscape onto which they subsist.

1:15pm - 2:45pm366N: Essential land-use variables world café
Session Chair: Carsten Meyer
Session Chair: Steffen Fritz
UniS-A -126 

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