Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Communicating climate (change) uncertainties: simulation games as boundary objects
    Pelt, S.C. van; Haasnoot, M. ; Arts, B.J.M. ; Ludwig, F. ; Swart, R.J. ; Biesbroek, G.R. - \ 2015
    Environmental Science & Policy 45 (2015). - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 41 - 52.
    science-policy interface - decision-support - projections - adaptation - politics - information - transition - management - working - systems
    Climate science is characterized by large uncertainties about the direction, extent and time frame of climate change. Communicating these uncertainties is important for decision making on robust adaptation strategies, but proves to be a challenge for scientists particularly because of the complexity of uncertainties that are part of natural variability and of human induced climate change. The aim of this paper is to assess the role of a simulation game, as intermediate, to the communication of climate change uncertainties to water managers. In three workshops with water managers, the simulation game ‘Sustainable Delta’ was played to test the influence of the game on their understanding of climate change uncertainty using ex ante and ex post surveys. In each workshop an experimental- and control group were given different assignments to measure the influence of the game. The results show that although the differences between groups were not statistically significant, a change in their understanding of uncertainties was observed. The paper concludes that the learning effect of the game is inconclusive, but that the game does fosters a broader understanding of the concept climate change uncertainty. In doing so, simulation games are a promising approach to support the communication of climate change uncertainties meaningfully and support the process of adaptation to an uncertain future.
    From Framework to Action: The DESIRE Approach to Combat Desertification
    Hessel, R. ; Reed, M.S. ; Geeson, N. ; Ritsema, C.J. ; Karavitis, C. ; Schwilch, G. ; Jetten, V. ; Dijck, S.J.E. van; Elsen, H.G.M. van den - \ 2014
    Environmental Management 54 (2014)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 935 - 950.
    sustainable land management - conservation measures - indigenous knowledge - decision-support - learning-process - degradation - science - debate - perceptions - drylands
    It has become increasingly clear that desertification can only be tackled through amulti-disciplinary approach that not only involves scientists but also stakeholders. In the DESIRE project such an approach was taken. As a first step, a conceptual frameworkwas developed inwhich the factors and processes thatmay lead to land degradation and desertification were described. Many of these factors do not work independently, but can reinforce or weaken one another, and to illustrate these relationships sustainable management and policy feedback loops were included. This conceptual framework can be applied globally, but can also bemade sitespecific to take into account that each study site has a unique combination of bio-physical, socio-economic and political conditions. Once the conceptual framework was defined, a methodological framework was developed in which the methodological steps taken in the DESIRE approach were listed and their logic and sequence were explained. The last step was to develop a concrete working plan to put the project into action, involving stakeholders throughout the process. This series of steps, in full or in part, offers explicit guidance for other organizations or projects that aim to reduce land degradation and desertification.
    Climate adaptation services for the Netherlands: An operational approach to support spatial adaptation planning
    Goosen, H. ; Groot, M.A.M. de; Masselink, L. ; Koekoek, A. ; Swart, R.J. ; Bessembinder, J. ; Witte, J.M.P. ; Stuyt, L.C.M. ; Blom-Zandstra, G. ; Immerzeel, W. - \ 2014
    Regional Environmental Change 14 (2014)3. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 1035 - 1048.
    landgebruik - klimaatverandering - landgebruiksplanning - stakeholders - kennisoverdracht - land use - climatic change - land use planning - stakeholders - knowledge transfer - decision-support - design - visualization - thinking - tools - maps - gap
    There is a growing availability of climate change information, offered to scientists and policy makers through climate services. However, climate services are not well taken up by the policy-making and planning community. Climate services focus on primary impacts of climate change, e.g., the disclosure of precipitation and temperature data, and this seems insufficient in meeting their needs. In this paper, we argue that, in order to reach the spatial planning community, climate services should take on a wider perspective by translating climate data to policy-relevant indicators and by offering support in the design of adaptation strategies. We argue there should be more focus on translating consequences of climate change to land-use claims and subsequently discuss the validity, consequences and implications of these claims with stakeholders, so they can play a role in spatial planning processes where much of the climate adaptation takes place. The term Climate Adaptation Services is introduced as being a stepwise approach supporting the assessment of vulnerability in a wider perspective and include the design and appraisal of adaptation strategies in a multi-stakeholder setting. We developed the Climate Adaptation Atlas and the Climate Ateliers as tools within the Climate Adaptation Services approach to support decision-making and planning processes. In this paper, we describe the different steps of our approach and report how some of the challenges were addressed
    Sustainable urban metabolism as a link between bio-physical sciences and urban planning: The BRIDGE project
    Chrysoulakis, N. ; Lopes, M. ; San José, R. ; Grimmond, C.S.B. ; Jones, M.B. ; Magliulo, V. ; Klostermann, J.E.M. ; Synnefa, A. ; Mitraka, Z. ; Castro, E. ; González, A. ; Vogt, R. ; Vesala, T. ; Spano, D. ; Pigeon, G. ; Freer-Smith, P. ; Staszewski, T. ; Hodges, N. ; Mills, G. ; Cartalis, C. - \ 2013
    Landscape and Urban Planning 112 (2013). - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 100 - 117.
    parameterization scheme lumps - carbon-dioxide emissions - decision-support - water-balance - air-quality - local-scale - los-angeles - heat-flux - model - energy
    Urban metabolism considers a city as a system with flows of energy and material between it and the environment. Recent advances in bio-physical sciences provide methods and models to estimate local scale energy, water, carbon and pollutant fluxes. However, good communication is required to provide this new knowledge and its implications to endusers (such as urban planners, architects and engineers). The FP7 project BRIDGE (sustainaBle uRban plannIng Decision support accountinG for urban mEtabolism) aimed to address this gap by illustrating the advantages of considering these issues in urban planning. The BRIDGE Decision Support System (DSS) aids the evaluation of the sustainability of urban planning interventions. The Multi Criteria Analysis approach adopted provides a method to cope with the complexity of urban metabolism. In consultation with targeted end-users, objectives were defined in relation to the interactions between the environmental elements (fluxes of energy, water, carbon and pollutants) and socioeconomic components (investment costs, housing, employment, etc.) of urban sustainability. The tool was tested in five case study cities: Helsinki, Athens, London, Florence and Gliwice; and sub-models were evaluated using flux data selected. This overview of the BRIDGE project covers the methods and tools used to measure and model the physical flows, the selected set of sustainability indicators, the methodological framework for evaluating urban planning alternatives and the resulting DSS prototype
    A structured multi-stakeholder learning process for Sustainable Land Management
    Schwilch, G. ; Bachmann, F. ; Valente, S. ; Coelho, C. ; Moreira, J. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Aderghal, M. ; Santos, P. ; Reed, M.S. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 107 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 52 - 63.
    public-participation - decision-support - governance - comanagement - environment - bolivia - india - slm
    There are many, often competing, options for Sustainable Land Management (SLM). Each must be assessed and sometimes negotiated prior to implementation. Participatory, multi-stakeholder approaches to identification and selection of SLM options are increasingly popular, often motivated by social learning and empowerment goals. Yet there are few practical tools for facilitating processes in which land managers may share, select, and decide on the most appropriate SLM options. The research presented here aims to close the gap between the theory and the practice of stakeholder participation/learning in SLM decision-making processes. The paper describes a three-part participatory methodology for selecting SLM options that was tested in 14 desertification-prone study sites within the EU-DESIRE project. Cross-site analysis and in-depth evaluation of the Moroccan and Portuguese sites were used to evaluate how well the proposed process facilitated stakeholder learning and selection of appropriate SLM options for local implementation. The structured nature of the process starting with SLM goal setting was found to facilitate mutual understanding and collaboration between stakeholders. The deliberation process led to a high degree of consensus over the outcome and, though not an initial aim, it fostered social learning in many cases. This solution-oriented methodology is applicable in a wide range of contexts and may be implemented with limited time and resources. .
    Local Community Participation in Italian National Parks Management: Theory versus Practice
    Buono, F. ; Pediaditi, K. ; Carsjens, G.J. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 14 (2012)2. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 189 - 208.
    protected area management - citizen participation - public-participation - nature conservation - stakeholder theory - decision-support - risk-assessment - network - implementation - perceptions
    The need for participation of local communities in the management of protected areas (PAs) is widely acknowledged, and its implementation is viewed as an indicator of sustainable practice. Such participation is increasingly mentioned in the recent European Union (EU) policy and legislation, yet little statutory guidance and few minimum requirements are available. Italy, as an EUMember State, has committed itself to incorporate participation in PA management. However, to date, there has been no assessment of how participation has materialized in practice. This paper presents the results of an investigation of participatory practices focusing specifically on local community involvement in Italian National Park management. The investigation is based on a review of the stateof- the-art theory on participation in PA management, specifically addressing the following questions: what levels of participation are preferable, what methods should be utilized in order to enable effective PA management and who should participate? The results show a discrepancy between best practice theory and practice for the case of Italy. More importantly, the results indicate the need for the development of practical guidance and a common participation framework for PA management in Europe
    Classical Swine Fever and Avian Influenza epidemcis: Lessons learned
    Elbers, A.R. ; Loeffen, W.L.A. ; Koch, G. - \ 2012
    Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift 125 (2012)1/2. - ISSN 0005-9366 - p. 21 - 26.
    clinical signs - h7n7 epidemic - wild boar - decision-support - outbreaks - netherlands - virus - diagnosis - europe - performance
    This publication is based on a talk which was held in the course of the spring symposium „Impfen statt Keulen“ of the Akademie für Tiergesundheit (AfT) 2011 in Wiesbaden-Naurod. Experience with recent large-scale epidemics of Classical Swine Fever and Avian Influenza – among others in the Netherlands – have teached us several lessons that should prepare us better for future outbreaks. Among others, improving early detection of outbreaks – by using syndrome surveillance systems – is a key factor, in which farmers and veterinary practitioners have an imminent role. A major step in this respect is facilitation of the use of exclusion diagnostics without closing down the farm in clinical situations with non-specific clinical signs observed in sick animals. The hesitance of farmers and veterinary practitioners to report a suspect clinical situation on a livestock farm and how to facilitate that process is another major issue. Furthermore, the importance of communication between the field and the laboratory with respect to post mortem examination will be highlighted, and the need for outbreak simulation exercises with neighbouring countries in order to be better prepared, will be discussed.
    Does 'grey' urban living lead to more 'green' holiday nights? A Netherlands Case Study
    Sijtsma, F.J. ; Vries, S. de; Hinsberg, A. van; Diederiks, J. - \ 2012
    Landscape and Urban Planning 105 (2012)3. - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 250 - 257.
    decision-support - cities - space - areas - agglomeration - valuation - economics - ecosystem - location - benefits
    Urbanisation is seen as essential to wealth creation and increased productivity, but the process has costs as well as benefits. In the present paper we conduct an empirical analysis for the highly urbanised Netherlands on the relation between the greyness of the living environment and the compensating behaviour of more holiday nights spent away from home. We perform a secondary analysis of a survey on holiday behaviour enriched with the outcomes of a GIS model on recreational shortages. We find that the higher the greyness of the living environment – i.e. the higher the shortage of locally available green space for recreational walking – the more people spend nights away from home. Approximately 6% of all Dutch holiday nights may be related to a shortage of green space for recreational walking in the urban living environment. For people living in the most grey urban areas, 20% of their holiday nights appear to be related to a shortage of green space; for people in the least grey areas 10% relates to a shortage of green space. We think that this empirical relation is an important contribution to an assessment of the consequences of agglomeration that goes beyond labour productivity and moves towards well-being
    How, when, and for what reasons does land use modelling contribute to societal problem solving?
    Sterk, B. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2011
    Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (2011)3. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 310 - 316.
    decision-support - sustainable development - resource-management - systems - options - netherlands - policy - farms - tools - scale
    This paper reports and reflects on the contributions of land use models to societal problem solving. Its purpose is to inform model development and application and thus to increase chances for societal benefit of the modelling work. The key question is: How, when, and for what reasons does land use modelling contribute to societal problem solving? Addressing this question, we rely on a synthesis of three studies, reported more extensively elsewhere. Our research experience, as demonstrated by the three studies used as examples, implies that the impacts of using land use models are diverse. These impacts are not limited to learning about a land system, but extend to learning about the views, norms and values of other actors. Also, land use modelling work may enhance mediation of conflicts between stakeholders and contribute to community-building. The synthesis suggests that we need to anticipate the relatively fluid and fuzzy features of social contexts and problem solving processes to harness land use modelling for societal problem solving. To capture these features, we developed a conceptual framework that links five important factors for understanding the contribution of modelling to societal change. Four contextual factors are distinguished and a set of processes that are important for these four factors to become fruitfully matched. The four contextual factors are: problem solving dynamics; model types; boundary arrangements; roles of models. The matching consists of contextualization and network building. In view of these findings we conclude that in designing a modelling strategy equal attention should be paid to the requirements for model development and the embedding of the work in a given/intended societal context. For those who pursue the use of science-based land use models, a number of activities seem particularly relevant: 1. Exploration of the possible and desired impacts of the land use model; 2. Network building of modellers, potential users and stakeholders; 3. Model contextualization, i.e. the explication of values and aspirations underlying the modelling work, fitting the model to a social and biophysical context and interpretation of modelling results in relation to other knowledge sources such as expert knowledge; 4. Fostering feelings of interdependency between the participants in the problem solving process.
    Towards optimization of chemical testing under REACH: A Bayesian network approach to Integrated Testing Strategies
    Jaworska, J. ; Gabbert, S.G.M. ; Aldenberg, T. - \ 2010
    Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 57 (2010)2-3. - ISSN 0273-2300 - p. 157 - 167.
    evidence-based toxicology - alternative methods - risk-assessment - conditional dependence - decision-support - diagnostic-tests - specificity - sensitivity - prediction - batteries
    Integrated Testing Strategies (ITSs) are considered tools for guiding resource efficient decision-making on chemical hazard and risk management. Originating in the mid-nineties from research initiatives on minimizing animal use in toxicity testing, ITS development still lacks a methodologically consistent framework for incorporating all relevant information, for updating and reducing uncertainty across testing stages, and for handling conditionally dependent evidence. This paper presents a conceptual and methodological proposal for improving ITS development. We discuss methodological shortcomings of current ITS approaches, and we identify conceptual requirements for ITS development and optimization. First, ITS development should be based on probabilistic methods in order to quantify and update various uncertainties across testing stages. Second, reasoning should reflect a set of logic rules for consistently combining probabilities of related events. Third, inference should be hypothesis-driven and should reflect causal relationships in order to coherently guide decision-making across testing stages. To meet these requirements, we propose an information-theoretic approach to ITS development, the “ITS inference framework”, which can be made operational by using Bayesian networks. As an illustration, we examine a simple two-test battery for assessing rodent carcinogenicity. Finally, we demonstrate how running the Bayesian network reveals a quantitative measure of Weight-of-Evidence
    Eco-efficient Agriculture: Concepts, Challenges, and Opportunities
    Keating, B.A. ; Carberry, P.S. ; Bindraban, P.S. ; Asseng, S. ; Meinke, H.B. ; Dixon, J. - \ 2010
    Crop Science 50 (2010)2. - ISSN 0011-183X - p. S - 109-S-119.
    nitrogen-use efficiency - climate-change impacts - mediterranean-type environment - water-use efficiency - decision-support - crop production - wheat - yield - management - systems
    Eco-efficiency in the simplest of terms is about achieving more with less—more agricultural outputs, in terms of quantity and quality, for less input of land, water, nutrients, energy, labor, or capital. The concept of eco-efficiency encompasses both the ecological and economic dimensions of sustainable agriculture. Social and institutional dimensions of sustainability, while not explicitly captured in eco-efficiency measures, remain critical barriers and opportunities on the pathway toward more eco-efficient agriculture. This review paper explores the multidimensionality of the eco-efficiency concept as it applies to agriculture across diverse spatial and temporal scales, from cellular metabolisms through to crops, farms, regions, and ecosystems. These dimensions of eco-efficiency are integrated through the presentation and exploration of a framework that explores an efficiency frontier between agricultural outputs and inputs, investment, or risk. The challenge for agriculture in the coming decades will be to increase productivity of agricultural lands in line with the increasing demands for food and fiber. Achieving such eco-efficiency, while addressing risk and variability, will be a major challenge for future agriculture. Often, risk will be a critical issue influencing adoption; it needs explicit attention in the diagnosis and intervention steps toward enhancing eco-efficiency. To ensure food security, systems analysis and modeling approaches, combined with farmer-focused experimentation and resource assessment, will provide the necessary robust approaches to raise the eco-efficiency of agricultural systems. Eco-efficient agriculture: Concepts, challenges, and opportunities
    Land Use models in complex societal problem solving: Plug and play or networking?
    Sterk, B. ; Leeuwis, C. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2009
    Environmental Modelling & Software 24 (2009)2. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 165 - 172.
    natural-resource management - decision-support - european-community - science - options - systems - tools - agriculture - knowledge - dynamics
    Land use systems research addresses issues, such as agricultural policy making, land use planning and integrated water management, that often involve multiple stakeholders. Several potential roles for land use models in multi-stakeholder situations have been identified, such as: a heuristic role, improving understanding; a symbolic role, putting an issue on the political agenda; and a relational role, creating a community. This paper addresses the question: ¿Which kind of arrangements, conditions, model qualities or other factors harness land use modelling to perform those roles?¿ Our approach consisted of two components: the development of a conceptual framework of the interactions between scientist, model, other non-human entities and societal stakeholders; and the analysis of three cases of linking land use modelling to problem solving in a multi-stakeholder context. The conceptual framework suggests that a land use model can only perform a role in problem solving when it is enrolled in the interactions by one or more of the stakeholders. It then gets a different status because it becomes part of the interactions, is contextualized and its role is being defined. Here, contextualization encompasses the explication of values and aspirations of the modeller(s), fitting to a local context and interpretation of model work in relation to other knowledge sources. Based on this understanding, our case analysis addressed three questions. The first question was: ¿What role(s) did the model play in the course of the interactions?¿ The analysis revealed that the studied land use models performed heuristic roles in combination with at least one other role. In two cases, the model had a symbolic role in addition to its heuristic role. Also in two cases a relational role was found, i.e. the model fostered network building around the land use issue at stake. The second question was: ¿How did the model become part of the interactions in the network?¿ We found that in all three cases substantial investments were made to enrol and contextualize the land use model concerned and maintain relations with relevant stakeholders. The third question was: ¿Which model qualities contributed to the actual role(s) of the model?¿ The comparative analysis of the case studies suggests that land use models were appreciated for their characteristic system research features, i.e. the study of interactions between components and their integrative capacity.
    Can computer models stimulate learning about sustainable land use? Experience with LUPAS in the humid (sub-)tropics of Asia
    Paassen, A. van; Roetter, R.P. ; Keulen, H. van; Hoanh, C.T. - \ 2007
    Agricultural Systems 94 (2007)3. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 874 - 887.
    rural resource-management - agricultural-research - decision-support
    In many rice-cultivating regions of east and south-east Asia, competition for land and water resources is strong and increasing. This calls for exploration of future technology and policy options in support of sustainable land (and water) use. Sustainable land use is a complex issue, that involves uncertainties about the dynamics of the biophysical system and the social system, as well as multiple perspectives. The capacity to identify options for sustainable and equitable development depends on the acquisition of knowledge and skills for (a) holistic analysis of the biophysical system dynamics, (b) analysis of the multiple positions, perceptions, values, beliefs and interests of the relevant stakeholders, (c) contemplation of the action needed to fill the gap between the desired socio-technical system and the perceived real-world situation. Learning is contextual and gradual: historically, agricultural scientists have moved from a reductionist to a holistic hard system perspective, while now slowly embracing the interpretive system perspective. Under the Ecoregional Initiative for the humid tropics of Asia, SysNet (1996¿2000) trained scientists at four National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in trans-disciplinary analysis through development and application of the LUPAS (Land Use Planning and Analysis System) modelling framework. Aim was to develop a holistic land use analysis methodology for four different rice-cultivating regions. To ensure relevance for land use decision making, scientists organized meetings with planners and other stakeholders. Four NARS teams of 12¿24 scientists acquired and/or increased expertise and skills outside their own disciplines, in modelling and improved data management, and learned to perform agro-ecological analyses. Regional planners were presented with region-specific data in support of formulation of area-specific technical and policy recommendations, and agricultural experts used LUPAS tools to extrapolate research results to other areas. Much learning was acquired within the technical¿economic domain, but the exchange with stakeholders did not yet lead to a critical learning system approach. Nevertheless, NARS highly appreciated the new tools and knowledge, and made a significant step forward from mono-disciplinary to holistic agro-ecological analysis. Application of the LUPAS methodology has been expanded following finalization of the project, despite practical problems such as diminishing long-term funds and the high demand for IT people outside agriculture. NRM decision making demands reflexivity and skilful facilitation. In these processes, LUPAS modelling has a specific added value: it enhances long-term strategic thinking about sustainable land use and rural development issues
    A simple mediation and negotiation support tool for water management in the Netherlands
    Janssen, R.H.H. ; Goosen, H. ; Omtzigt, N. - \ 2006
    Landscape and Urban Planning 78 (2006)1-2. - ISSN 0169-2046 - p. 71 - 84.
    decision-support - resource-management - dispute resolution - collective action - gis - systems - information - design
    When the stakes of stakeholders are not properly incorporated during early phases of a planning process, it may later give rise to severe conflicts. The issue of how to deal with stakeholders in regional water management has been a subject of ongoing debate in the Netherlands. This paper promotes a `platform¿ approach where stakeholders collectively attempt to develop plans for regional water management. Ideas for this platform approach are based on a review of research on groups governing common-pool resources. We argue that simple negotiation and mediation support tools can offer useful support and can serve to facilitate platform negotiations. We present a simple mediation and negotiation tool to support the early phases of such a land use planning process. The tool translates stakeholder preferences on the use of the landscape into spatially explicit value maps. Proposed plans can be evaluated and potential conflicts can be identified. The use of such a tool enables stakeholders and mediators to formulate explicitly the problems that need to be addressed in the decision-making process
    Fuzzy rule-based macroinvertebrate habitat suitability models for running waters
    Broekhoven, E. Van; Adriaenssens, V. ; Baets, B. De; Verdonschot, P.F.M. - \ 2006
    Ecological Modelling 198 (2006)1-2. - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 71 - 84.
    species distribution - decision-support - instream flow - prediction - stream - uncertainty - management - ecology - system - river
    A fuzzy rule-based approach was applied to a macroinvertebrate habitat suitability modelling problem. The model design was based on a knowledge base summarising the preferences and tolerances of 86 macroinvertebrate species for four variables describing river sites in springs up to small rivers in the Central and Western Plains of Europe. As the modelling problem asked for a model with an interpretable structure and a shaded indication of the river habitat suitability for a macroinvertebrate species, we opted for fuzzy classifiers. For each species, four different types (A, N, P, C) of habitat suitability models were developed, including `ammonium concentration¿, `nitrate concentration¿, `phosphate concentration¿ or `electrical conductivity¿, as third input variable in addition to the primary two input variables `stream width¿ and `stream velocity¿. The models were evaluated on field data collected at 445 sites in the Province of Overijssel (the Netherlands). For the majority of the 86 species, the significance of the model validation is biased by the highly non-uniform distribution of the data points over the input and output space, due to the fact that sites of high ecological quality are largely outnumbered by sites at deteriorated conditions. The evaluation by the validation data set was regarded objective for 12 species, only one of them being an indicator for reference conditions. Given the present environmental conditions of rivers in EU Member States, shifts in abundance levels of more common species are as such more suitable to detect gradual changes in water quality than shifts in abundance levels of species characterising reference conditions. Good scores were obtained with the performance measure `percentage of correctly fuzzy classified instances¿ for the 12 corresponding N- and P-models, whereas the A- and C-models showed a low to moderate performance. This work illustrates that fuzzy rule-based models, designed using a comprehensive knowledge base, have properties that are of great interest for river management tools. The main components of a fuzzy rule-based model are the if¿then rules, allowing for the expression of non-linear relations and the fuzzy sets, guaranteeing gradual transitions between classes. Due to the fact that these model components can be understood intuitively, the fuzzy rule-based approach results in highly transparant habitat suitability models.
    A method for exploring sustainable development options at farm scale: a case study for vegetable farms in South Uruguay
    Dogliotti Moro, S. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Rossing, W.A.H. - \ 2005
    Agricultural Systems 86 (2005)1. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 29 - 51.
    land-use - production systems - decision-support - crop rotations - policy-making - netherlands - framework - tuscany - models
    The methodology presented in this paper aims at analysing whether there is room for improvement of vegetable farmers¿ income in Canelón Grande (Uruguay), while reducing soil erosion and improving physical and biological soil fertility, and to gain insight in the influence of farmers¿ resource availability on the opportunities for sustainable development. The (generic) approach we developed to support re-design of farming systems in this region is unique in dealing with complex temporal interactions in crop rotations and spatial heterogeneity on farms in one integrated method, while revealing trade-off between economic and environmental objectives. Rather than an arbitrary sub-set, all feasible crop rotations were generated, using a tool named ROTAT. The crop rotations were combined with a range of production techniques according to pre-defined design criteria to create a wide variety of alternative production activities at the field scale. We used process-based simulation models supplemented with empirical data and expert knowledge to quantify inputs and outputs of production activities. We developed a mixed integer linear programming model (MILP), named Farm Images, to allocate production activities to a farm with land units differing in soil quality, while maximising or minimising socio-economic and environmental objectives, subject to constraints at the farm level. Production activities comprised current practices as well as activities new to the area. We used Farm Images to design farm systems for seven existing farms in Canelón Grande with different resource availability. The farm systems designed by the model had higher family income than current systems for six of the seven farms studied. The estimated average soil erosion per ha decreased by a factor of 2¿4 in the farm systems proposed compared to the current systems, while the rate of change of soil organic matter increased from negative in the current systems to +130 to +280 kg ha¿1 yr¿1 in the proposed farm systems. The degree to which the objectives could be achieved was strongly affected by farm resource endowment, i.e., particularly by the fraction of the area irrigated, soil quality and labour availability per ha. The study suggests that decreasing the area of vegetable crops by introducing long crop rotations with pastures and green manure during the inter-crop periods and integrating beef cattle production into the farm systems would often be a better strategy than the actual farmers¿ practice
    Using linear integer programming for multi-site land-use allocation
    Aerts, J.C.J.H. ; Eisinger, E. ; Heuvelink, G.B.M. ; Stewart, Th.J. - \ 2003
    Geographical Analysis 35 (2003)2. - ISSN 0016-7363 - p. 148 - 169.
    decision-support - optimization - gis - constraints - models - clarification
    Research in the area of spatial decision support (SDS) and resource allocation has recently generated increased attention for integrating optimization techniques with GIS. In this paper we address the use of spatial optimization techniques for solving multi-site land-use allocation (MLUA) problems, where MLUA refers to the optimal allocation of multiple sites of different land uses to an area. We solve an MLUA problem, using four different integer programs (IP), of which three are linear integer programs. The IPs are formulated for a raster-based GIS environment and are designed to minimize development costs and to maximize compactness of the allocated land use. The preference for either minimizing costs or maximizing compactness has been made operational by including a weighting factor. The IPs are evaluated on their speed and their efficacy for handling large databases. All four IPs yielded the optimal solution within a reasonable amount of thne, for all area of 8 x 8 cells. The fastest model was successfully applied to a case study involving an area of 30 x 30 cells. The case study demonstrates the practical use of linear IPs for spatial decision support issues.
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