A qualitative method for the spatial and thematic downscaling of land-use change scenarios
Rickebusch, S. ; Metzger, M.J. ; Xu, G. ; Vogiatzakis, I.N. ; Potts, S.G. ; Stirpe, M.T. ; Rounsevell, M. - \ 2011
Environmental Science & Policy 14 (2011)3. - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 268 - 278.
cover change - aerial-photography - future scenarios - swiss mountains - europe - biodiversity - dynamics - abandonment - landscapes - impacts
Assessing the potential impact of future land-cover changes on habitat quality requires projections with a fine spatial and thematic resolution. The former is usually addressed by downscaling methods, often at the expense of the latter. We present a new, rule-based method to downscale land-use change scenarios to the landscape level while keeping a large number of land-cover classes (CORINE level 3). The method relies on the interpretation of European scenario storylines, the observation of past land-use changes, high-resolution regional data and expert knowledge. The results give a landscape-level transposition of the scenario storylines which reflects the local conditions. The method has a number of advantages, such as its potential application in dialogues with policy-makers and stakeholders. Possible further developments include automating the rule-based selection to overcome the current limitations of this method in terms of spatial extent.
Simulation modelling and risk assessment as tools to identify the impact of climate change on microbiological food safety – The case study of fresh produce supply chain
Jacxsens, L. ; Luning, P.A. ; Vorst, J.G.A.J. van der; Devlieghere, F. ; Leemans, R. ; Uyttendaele, M. - \ 2010
Food Research International 43 (2010)7. - ISSN 0963-9969 - p. 1925 - 1935.
minimally processed vegetables - escherichia-coli o157-h7 - agricultural land-use - time rt-pcr - ambient-temperature - iceberg lettuce - cryptosporidium oocysts - foodborne pathogens - contaminated water - future scenarios
The current quality assurance and control tools and methods to prevent and/or to control microbiological risks associated with fresh produce are challenged due to the following pressures upon the food supply chain, i.e. changing consumption patterns, globalization and climate change. It demonstrates the need for scientific research and development of new and/or improved tools, techniques and practices to adapt the current risk management systems. In this paper, a conceptual research approach is presented to analyse the complexity of the climate change and globalization challenge on the fresh produce supply chain taken as a case study. The factors which affect the vulnerability of the fresh produce chain demand a multidisciplinary research approach. The proposed knowledge-based modelling system is believed to be a most appropriate way to identify problems and to offer solutions to monitor and prevent microbiological food safety risks during all phases of food production and supply. To explore the potential impact of climate change and globalization, baseline information can be obtained by surveillance and performance measurement of implemented food safety management systems. Simulation of climate change scenarios and the logistic chain of fresh produce, along with mathematical models to optimize packaging technology to maintain quality and safety of fresh produce are tools to provide insights in the complex dynamic ecosystem. They are the basis for elaboration of risk assessment studies to scientifically support management options and decisions to new microbiological threats related to globalization and climate change in the fresh produce supply chain. This research concept as such will contribute to develop strategies in order to guarantee the (microbiological) food safety of fresh produce on the long term
Crop production and resource use to meet the growing demand for food, feed and fuel: opportunities and constraints
Spiertz, J.H.J. ; Ewert, F. - \ 2009
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 56 (2009)4. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 281 - 300.
land-use change - biofuel production - environmental sustainability - cellulosic ethanol - biomass production - future scenarios - energy crops - water-use - oil palm - nitrogen
Global food and feed demands have been projected to double in the 21st century, which will further increase the pressure on the use of land, water and nutrients. At the same time, the political decisions to support renewable energy sources are accelerating the use of biomass, including grain, sugar, oilseed, and lignocellulosic crops for biofuel and power generation. Government directives - incited by climate change, high oil prices and geo-political tensions - promote partial replacement of fossil fuel by biofuels. Prices and availability of commodities used as staple food and feed are becoming already affected by the growing demand for bioenergy. Many implications of this demand for biofuel on the resource base (land, water, biodiversity), environment, rural economy, food prices and social impacts are unknown. The present study reviews and discusses the opportunities and limits of crops and resources for food, feed and biofuel production. There are gaps in our knowledge regarding the global capacity for sustainable plant-based bioenergy production, while maintaining food security; commercial biomass production will compete with food crops for arable land and scarce fresh water resources. The rapidly growing demand for food, feed and fuel will require a combination of further increases in crop yields (ca. 2% per annum) and a doubling or tripling of resource-use efficiencies, especially of nitrogen-use efficiency and water productivity in production systems with high external inputs, over the next 20 to 30 years. Adaptation of cropping systems to climate change and a better tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses by genetic improvement and by managing diverse cropping systems in a sustainable way will be of key importance. An integrated assessment of resource-use efficiencies, ecological services and economic profitability may guide the choice of crop species and cultivars to be grown in a target environment and region, depending on the added value for specific purposes: food, feed or fuel. To avoid negative impacts on food security, governments should give high priority to 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation technologies for bioenergy
A methodology for enhanced flexibility of integrated assessment in agriculture
Ewert, F. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Bezlepkina, I. ; Therond, O. ; Andersen, E. ; Belhouchette, H. ; Bockstaller, C. ; Brouwer, F.M. ; Heckelei, T. ; Janssen, S.J.C. ; Knapen, R. ; Kuiper, M. ; Louhichi, K. ; Olsson, J.A. ; Turpin, N. ; Wery, J. ; Wien, J.E. ; Wolf, J. - \ 2009
Environmental Science & Policy 12 (2009)5. - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 546 - 561.
land-use - climate-change - conceptual-framework - future scenarios - model - systems - policy - sustainability - europe - management
Agriculture is interrelated with the socio-economic and natural environment and faces increasingly the problem of managing its multiple functions in a sustainable way. Growing emphasis is on adequate policies that can support both agriculture and sustainable development. Integrated Assessment and Modelling (IAM) can provide insight into the potential impacts of policy changes. An increasing number of Integrated Assessment (IA) models are being developed, but these are mainly monolithic and are targeted to answer specific problems. Approaches that allow flexible IA for a range of issues and functions are scarce. Recently, a methodology for policy support in agriculture has been developed that attempts to overcome some of the limitations of earlier IA models. The proposed framework (SEAMLESS-IF) integrates relationships and processes across disciplines and scales and combines quantitative analysis with qualitative judgments and experiences. It builds on the concept of systems analysis and attempts to enable flexible coupling of models and tools. The present paper aims to describe progress in improving flexibility of IAM achieved with the methodology developed for SEAMLESS-IF. A brief literature review identifying limitations in the flexibility of IAM is followed by a description of the progress achieved with SEAMLESS-IF. Two example applications are used to illustrate relevant capabilities of SEAMLESS-IF. The examples refer to (i) the impacts on European agriculture of changes in world trade regulations and (ii) regional impacts of the EU Nitrates Directive in combination with agro-management changes. We show that improving the flexibility of IAM requires flexibility in model linking but also a generic set up of all IA steps. This includes problem and scenario definition, the selection and specification of indicators and the indicator framework, the structuring of the database, and the visualization of results. Very important is the flexibility to integrate, select and link models, data and indicators depending on the application. Technical coupling and reusability of model components is greatly improved through adequate software architecture (SEAMLESS-IF uses OpenMI). The use of ontology strongly supports conceptual consistency of model linkages. However, the scientific basis for linking models across disciplines and scales is still weak and requires specific attention in future research. We conclude that the proposed framework significantly advances flexibility in IAM and that it is a good basis to further improve integrated modelling for policy impact assessment in agriculture
Economic impacts of climatic variability and subsidies on European agriculture and observed adaptation strategies
Reidsma, P. ; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. ; Ewert, F. - \ 2009
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 14 (2009)1. - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 35 - 59.
land-use change - adaptive capacity - technical efficiency - ricardian analysis - future scenarios - vulnerability - policy - consequences - productivity - performance
In order to assess agricultural adaptation to climate impacts, new methodologies are needed. The translog distance function allows assessing interactions between different factors, and hence the influence of management on climate impacts. The Farm Accountancy Data Network provides extensive data on farm characteristics of farms throughout the EU15 (i.e. the 15 member states of the European Union before the extension in 2004). These data on farm inputs and outputs from 1990¿2003 are coupled with climate data. As climate change is not the only change affecting European agriculture, we also include effects of subsidies and other changes on inputs and outputs of farms throughout Europe. We distinguish several regions and empirically assess (1) climate impacts on farm inputs and outputs in different regions and (2) interactions between inputs and other factors that contribute to the adaptation to these impacts. Changes in production can partly be related to climatic variability and change, but also subsidies and other developments (e.g. technology, markets) are important. Results show that impacts differ per region, and that `actual impacts¿ cannot be explicitly separated into `potential impacts¿ and `adaptive capacity¿ as often proposed for vulnerability assessment. Farmers adapt their practices to prevailing conditions and continuously adapt to changing conditions. Therefore, `potential impacts¿ will not be observed in practice, leaving it as a mainly theoretical concept. Factors that contribute to the adaptation also differ per region. In some regions more fertilizers or more irrigation can mitigate impacts, while in other regions this amplifies impacts. To project impacts of future climate change on agriculture, current farm management strategies and their influence on current production should be considered. This clearly asks for improved integration of biophysical and economic models.
Spatial distribution of grassland productivity and land use in Europe
Smit, H.J. ; Metzger, M.J. ; Ewert, F. - \ 2008
Agricultural Systems 98 (2008)3. - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 208 - 219.
landgebruik - landbouwgrond - graslanden - europese unie - klimaatverandering - grondproductiviteit - land use - agricultural land - grasslands - european union - climatic change - land productivity - silvopastoral system - future scenarios - northern greece - herbage mass - nitrogen - spain - quality - stratification - agriculture - efficiency
Grasslands are an important land use in Europe with essential functions for feed and ecosystem service supply. Impact assessment modelling of European agriculture and the environment needs to consider grasslands and requires spatially explicit information on grassland distribution and productivity, which is not available. This paper presents and analyses spatially explicit data of grassland productivity and land use across regions in Europe. Data are extracted from various regional, national and international census statistics for Europe, extending eastwards to the Ural Mountains. Regional differences in grassland productivity are analysed considering selected climatic and agronomic parameters and are compared with the remotely sensed normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and simulations from two impact assessment models. Temporal productivity changes are investigated for selected regions. As grassland is mainly used for animal feed stuff, the spatial distribution of milk productivity is also analyzed. Results show large regional differences in grassland productivity and land use in Europe. Grassland productivity is highly correlated with annual precipitation and less with annual temperature sum and growing season length. The correlation with NDVI is low. Comparison with large-scale simulations from two different models reveal that simulated spatial patterns of grassland productivity differ from the data obtained in this study, which may be attributable to the under-representation of management effects in these models. Grassland productivity has increased in recent decades, but the average annual genetic gain is different between temporary (0.5%) and permanent grassland (0.25%). The spatial pattern of milk productivity across Europe is similar to the productivity of grassland, suggesting that grassland productivity plays a major role in the distribution of milk productivity. The dataset described in this paper extends the present understanding of the spatial distribution and temporal changes in grassland productivity and land use in Europe. The dataset forms a suitable basis for evaluating large-scale (grassland) productivity models, for which observed data are scarce. However, the definition of grasslands and the collection of data across European countries need to be more consistent and standardised to improve the quality of European grassland productivity and land use data.
Modeling the Biophysical Impacts of Global Change in Mountain Biosphere Reserves
Bugmann, H. ; Björnsen Gurung, A. ; Ewert, F. ; Haeberli, W. ; Guisan, A. ; Fagre, D. ; Kääb, A. - \ 2007
Mountain Research and Development 27 (2007)1. - ISSN 0276-4741 - p. 66 - 77.
glacier national-park - ecosystem processes - future scenarios - climate-change - europe - variability - permafrost - forests - energy - areas
Mountains and mountain societies provide a wide range of goods and services to humanity, but they are particularly sensitive to the effects of global environmental change. Thus, the definition of appropriate management regimes that maintain the multiple functions of mountain regions in a time of greatly changing climatic, economic, and societal drivers constitutes a significant challenge. Management decisions must be based on a sound understanding of the future dynamics of these systems. The present article reviews the elements required for an integrated effort to project the impacts of global change on mountain regions, and recommends tools that can be used at 3 scientific levels (essential, improved, and optimum). The proposed strategy is evaluated with respect to UNESCO's network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves (MBRs), with the intention of implementing it in other mountain regions as well. First, methods for generating scenarios of key drivers of global change are reviewed, including land use/land cover and climate change. This is followed by a brief review of the models available for projecting the impacts of these scenarios on (1) cryospheric systems, (2) ecosystem structure and diversity, and (3) ecosystem functions such as carbon and water relations. Finally, the cross-cutting role of remote sensing techniques is evaluated with respect to both monitoring and modeling efforts. We conclude that a broad range of techniques is available for both scenario generation and impact assessments, many of which can be implemented without much capacity building across many or even most MBRs. However, to foster implementation of the proposed strategy, further efforts are required to establish partnerships between scientists and resource managers in mountain areas.
The Effect of Soil Erosion on Europe's Crop Yields
Bakker, M.M. ; Govers, G. ; Jones, R.A. ; Rounsevell, M.D.A. - \ 2007
Ecosystems 10 (2007)7. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 1209 - 1219.
land-use change - topsoil removal - future scenarios - wheat yields - corn yield - productivity - growth - greece - loess
Soil erosion negatively affects crop yields and may have contributed to the collapse of ancient civilizations. Whether erosion may have such an impact on modern societies as well, is subject to debate. In this paper we quantify the relationship between crop yields and soil water available to plants, the most important yield-determining factor affected by erosion, at the European scale. Using information on the spatial distribution of erosion rates we calculate the potential threat of erosion-induced productivity losses. We show that future reductions in productivity in Europe as a whole are relatively small and do not pose a substantial threat to crop production within the coming century. However, within Europe there is considerable variability, and although productivity in northern Europe is not likely to be significantly reduced by soil erosion, for the southern countries the threat of erosion-induced productivity declines is stronger.
Analysis of farm performance in Europe under different climate and management conditions to improve understanding of adaptive capacity
Reidsma, P. ; Ewert, F. ; Oude Lansink, A. - \ 2007
Climatic Change 84 (2007)3-4. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 403 - 422.
land-use - future scenarios - elevated co2 - adaptation - vulnerability - impacts - models - agriculture - variability - systems
The aim of this paper is to improve understanding of the adaptive capacity of European agriculture to climate change. Extensive data on farm characteristics of individual farms from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) have been combined with climatic and socio-economic data to analyze the influence of climate and management on crop yields and income and to identify factors that determine adaptive capacity. A multilevel analysis was performed to account for regional differences in the studied relationships. Our results suggest that socio-economic conditions and farm characteristics should be considered when analyzing effects of climate conditions on farm yields and income. Next to climate, input intensity, economic size and the type of land use were identified as important factors influencing spatial variability in crop yields and income. Generally, crop yields and income are increasing with farm size and farm intensity. However, effects differed among crops and high crop yields were not always related to high incomes, suggesting that impacts of climate and management differ by impact variable. As farm characteristics influence climate impacts on crop yields and income, they are good indicators of adaptive capacity at farm level and should be considered in impact assessment models. Different farm types with different management strategies will adapt differently.
Towards a spatially explicit and quantitative vulnerability assessment of environmental change in Europe
Metzger, M.J. ; Schröter, D. - \ 2006
Regional Environmental Change 6 (2006)4. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 201 - 216.
sustainability science - land classification - future scenarios - climate-change - global change - ecosystems - impacts - stratification - framework - systems
Over the next century, society will increasingly be confronted with the impacts of global change (e.g. pollution, land use changes, and climate change). Multiple scenarios provide us with a range of possible changes in socio-economic trends, land uses and climate (i.e. exposure) and allow us to assess the response of ecosystems and changes in the services they provide (i.e. potential impacts). Since vulnerability to global change is less when society is able to adapt, it is important to provide decision makers with tools that will allow them to assess and compare the vulnerability of different sectors and regions to global change, taking into account exposure and sensitivity, as well as adaptive capacity. This paper presents a method that allows quantitative spatial analyses of the vulnerability of the human-environment system on a European scale. It is a first step towards providing stakeholders and policy makers with a spatially explicit portfolio of comparable projections of ecosystem services, providing a basis for discussion on the sustainable management of Europe's natural resources
The vulnerability of ecosystem services to land use change
Metzger, M.J. ; Rounsevell, M.D.A. ; Acosta-Michlik, L. ; Leemans, R. ; Schroter, D. - \ 2006
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 114 (2006)1. - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 69 - 85.
sustainability science - future scenarios - global change - europe - environment - indicators - framework
Terrestrial ecosystems provide a number of vital services for people and society, such as biodiversity, food, fibre, water resources, carbon sequestration, and recreation. The future capability of ecosystems to provide these services is determined by changes in socio-economic characteristics, land use, biodiversity, atmospheric composition and climate. Most published impact assessments do not address the vulnerability of the human-environment system under such environmental change. They cannot answer important multidisciplinary policy relevant questions such as: which are the main regions or sectors that are vulnerable to global change? How do the vulnerabilities of two regions compare? Which scenario is the least, or most, harmful for a given region or sector? The ATEAM project (Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modelling) uses a new approach to ecosystem assessment by integrating the potential impacts in a vulnerability assessment, which can help answer multidisciplinary questions, such as those listed above. This paper presents the vulnerability assessment of the ATEAM land use scenarios. The 14 land use types, discussed in detail by Rounsevell et al. (this volume), can be related to a range of ecosystem services. For instance, forest area is associated with wood production and designated land with outdoor recreation. Directly applying the vulnerability methodology to the land use change scenarios helps in understanding land use change impacts across the European environment. Scatter plots summarising impacts per principal European Environmental Zone (EnZ) help in interpreting how the impacts of the scenarios differ between ecosystem services and the European environments. While there is considerable heterogeneity in both the potential impacts of global changes, and the adaptive capacity to cope with these impacts, this assessment shows that southern Europe in particular will be vulnerable to land use change. Projected economic growth increases adaptive capacity, but is also associated with the most negative potential impacts. The potential impacts of more environmentally oriented developments are smaller, indicating an important role for both policy and society in determining eventual residual impacts
Projected changes in mineral soil carbon of European croplands and grasslands, 1990-2080
Smith, J. ; Smith, P. ; Wattenbach, M. ; Zaehle, S. ; Hiederer, R. ; Jones, R.J.A. ; Montanarella, L. ; Rounsevell, M.D.A. ; Reginster, I. ; Ewert, F. - \ 2005
Global Change Biology 11 (2005)12. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 2141 - 2152.
long-term experiments - agricultural land-use - organic-carbon - climate-change - terrestrial carbon - future scenarios - regional-scale - co2 emissions - model - sequestration
We present the most comprehensive pan-European assessment of future changes in cropland and grassland soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks to date, using a dedicated process-based SOC model and state-of-the-art databases of soil, climate change, land-use change and technology change. Soil carbon change was calculated using the Rothamsted carbon model on a European 10 × 10' grid using climate data from four global climate models implementing four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions scenarios (SRES). Changes in net primary production (NPP) were calculated by the Lund¿Potsdam¿Jena model. Land-use change scenarios, interpreted from the narratives of the IPCC SRES story lines, were used to project changes in cropland and grassland areas. Projections for 1990¿2080 are presented for mineral soil only. Climate effects (soil temperature and moisture) will tend to speed decomposition and cause soil carbon stocks to decrease, whereas increases in carbon input because of increasing NPP will slow the loss. Technological improvement may further increase carbon inputs to the soil. Changes in cropland and grassland areas will further affect the total soil carbon stock of European croplands and grasslands. While climate change will be a key driver of change in soil carbon over the 21st Century, changes in technology and land-use change are estimated to have very significant effects. When incorporating all factors, cropland and grassland soils show a small increase in soil carbon on a per area basis under future climate (1¿7 t C ha1 for cropland and 3¿6 t C ha1 for grassland), but when the greatly decreasing area of cropland and grassland are accounted for, total European cropland stocks decline in all scenarios, and grassland stocks decline in all but one scenario. Different trends are seen in different regions. For Europe (the EU25 plus Norway and Switzerland), the cropland SOC stock decreases from 11 Pg in 1990 by 4¿6 Pg (39¿54%) by 2080, and the grassland SOC stock increases from 6 Pg in 1990 to 1.5 Pg (25%) under the B1 scenario, but decreases to 1¿3 Pg (20¿44%) under the other scenarios. Uncertainty associated with the land-use and technology scenarios remains unquantified, but worst-case quantified uncertainties are 22.5% for croplands and 16% for grasslands, equivalent to potential errors of 2.5 and 1 Pg SOC, respectively. This is equivalent to 42¿63% of the predicted SOC stock change for croplands and 33¿100% of the predicted SOC stock change for grasslands. Implications for accounting for SOC changes under the Kyoto Protocol are discussed.
Ecosystem Service Supply and Vulnerability to Global Change in Europe
Schröter, D. ; Cramer, W. ; Leemans, R. ; Prentice, I.C. ; Araujo, M.B. ; Arnell, N.W. ; Bondeau, A. ; Brugmann, H. ; Carter, T.R. ; Gracia, C.A. ; Vega-Leinert, A.C. de la; Erhard, M. ; Ewert, F. ; Glendining, M. ; House, J.I. ; Kankaanpää, S. ; Klein, R.J.T. ; Lavorel, S. ; Lindner, M. ; Metzger, M.J. ; Meyer, J. ; Mitchell, T. ; Reginster, I. ; Rounsevell, M. ; Sabate, S. ; Stich, S. ; Smith, B. ; Smith, J. ; Smith, P. ; Sykes, M.T. ; Thonicke, K. ; Thuiller, W. ; Tuck, G. ; Zaehle, S. ; Zierl, B. - \ 2005
Science 310 (2005)5752. - ISSN 0036-8075 - p. 1333 - 1337.
climate-change - land-use - future scenarios - biodiversity
Global change will alter the supply of ecosystem services that are vital for human well-being. To investigate ecosystem service supply during the 21st century, we used a range of ecosystem models and scenarios of climate and land-use change to conduct a Europe-wide assessment. Large changes in climate and land use typically resulted in large changes in ecosystem service supply. Some of these trends may be positive (for example, increases in forest area and productivity) or offer opportunities (for example, "surplus land" for agricultural extensification and bioenergy production). However, many changes increase vulnerability as a result of a decreasing supply of ecosystem services (for example, declining soil fertility, declining water availability, increasing risk of forest fires), especially in the Mediterranean and mountain regions.
A multidisciplinary multi-scale framework for assessing vulnerabilities to global change
Metzger, M.J. ; Leemans, R. ; Schroter, D. - \ 2005
International Journal of applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 7 (2005)4. - ISSN 0303-2434 - p. 253 - 267.
Terrestrial ecosystems provide a number of vital services for people and society, such as food, fibre, water resources, carbon sequestration, and recreation. The future capability of ecosystems to provide these services is determined by changes in socio-economic factors, land use, atmospheric composition, and climate. Most impact assessments do not quantify the vulnerability of ecosystems and ecosystem services under such environmental change. They cannot answer important policy-relevant questions such as `Which are the main regions or sectors that are most vulnerable to global change?¿ `How do the vulnerabilities of two regions compare?¿ `Which scenario is the least harmful for a sector?¿ This paper describes a new approach to vulnerability assessment developed by the Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis and Modelling (ATEAM) project. Different ecosystem models, covering biodiversity, agriculture, forestry, hydrology, and carbon sequestration are fed with the same Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios based on the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). Each model gives insights into specific ecosystems, as in traditional impact assessments. Moreover, by integrating the results in a vulnerability assessment, the policy-relevant questions listed above can also be addressed. A statistically derived European environmental stratification forms a key element in the vulnerability assessment. By linking it to other quantitative environmental stratifications, comparisons can be made using data from different assessments and spatial scales