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. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.