Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Vulnerability scenario model

We developed a rule-based system for developing and implementing socio-economic scenarios of land use change that could be applied to any region of Europe and developed a strategy for implementing this system to yield quantitative and spatial scenarios of land use change under various socio-economic futures (the GATE-UPI scenarios). We applied the socio-economic scenarios to the regions in which risk assessment was required: UK (Wales), Spain (Catalonia) and Hungary (Dune-Titse interfluve). We applied the full quantitative and spatial implementation to Wales, mapping the results of 61 socio-economic scenarios of land use change to 2050, and measuring their quantitative implications for heathland extent. With regard Spain, we mapped a narrower range of socio-economic scenarios in order to concentrate on the more complex dynamics associated with fire and its potential increase and effects on shrublands under climate change. In Hungary, the required spatial data did not exist, hence the socio-economic scenarios were applied in a non-spatial and more qualitative manner, albeit with quantification where possible.

The results of these land use change scenarios then fed into the risk assessment methodology for each country. This combined the land use change results with
- The results of the VULCAN experiments and
- Results of studies into other impacts such as nitrogen deposition and fire in order to circumscribe all potential ecological pathways on the shrubland remaining under various land use change scenarios.

This method allowed that shrubland might indeed increase under both land use and climate changes.

The final stage in the risk assessment for all three countries involved predicting the more and less likely land use and ecological pathways. While this procedure involves considerable uncertainty, all underlying assumptions were made fully explicit in order to provide decision makers with high quality information and assessment of the future threats to European shrublands.

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University of Wales
LL57 2UW Gwynedd
United Kingdom
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