A computacional model to predict land-use and cover changes in mountain landscapes
Universitat de Lleida. Departament de Matemàtica
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Since the second half of the 20th century, an expansion of the forest in European mountain areas due to agricultural abandonment has been observed. The reduction of the agricultural intensity implies the disappearance of semi-natural alpine meadows and pastures of great ecological and aesthetic value. This thesis proposes a computational model, using P systems, to simulate the future agricultural landscape evolution in the Catalan Pyrenees and in the Stubai Valley, located in central Alps, for a period of 30 years. In these regions, three simulated scenarios have been established: (1) Continuation of the observed farming trends, or maintenance of the status quo, (2) significant and (3) strong stocking rate reductions. The results show how the traditional agricultural surfaces decrease in all simulated scenarios in both study areas. Therefore, it is important to apply new strategies to preserve these cultural surfaces and the multiple ecosystem services for future generations before they disappear definitively.
European research projects
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