Exploring alternative future landscapes and landscape change
To evaluate and understand the implications of landscape change, simulation modelling approaches are being developed to capture the impacts of land-use decisions on biodiversity and ecosystem services. These modelling approaches include:
Integrating landowner behaviour with economic modelling
This spatially explicit modelling approach, ARLUNZ, links economics with landowner behaviour. The modelling recognises the heterogeneity between farmers and how they behave, the role social networks play in the transfer of information, and the profitability of different land-use options. The ARLUNZ modelling framework is intended to help the development of policy to shape rural land-use intensification. It is being used as part of the BEST assessment framework in the pilot participatory process in the Rangitāiki catchment, Bay of Plenty.
Developing a dynamic spatial simulation model of land-use and cover change
The spatial simulation model, which will be integrated with the ARLUNZ modelling, is designed to simulate alternative land-use and land-cover future scenarios across the landscape. Its primary use will be to determine the effects of alternative land-use/land-cover future scenarios on local habitat diversity, connectivity, habitat gain or loss, and ecosystem services to evaluate the potential trade-offs involved in the optimisation of ecosystem service provisioning versus biodiversity conservation. This is PhD research being undertaken by Breanna Powers under the supervision of George Perry (University of Auckland).
ARLUNZ is a spatially explicit agent-based economic model that analyses the impact of a variety of policies on farm-level land use, farm net revenue, and ecosystem service indicators.